- Medical malpractice
- Personal injury
- Long-term care litigation/elder law
- Product liability
- Toxic tort
- Workers’ compensation
- Risk management
- Life care planning
- Regulatory compliance
- Civil rights
- Employment discrimination
- Medicare set-asides
Within those practice areas, you would perform various functions, including:
- Reviewing and analyzing medical records
- Conducting client interviews
- Conducting medical literature review
- Identifying medical professional standards of practice
- Identifying and securing expert witnesses
- Translating health care language for attorneys and other legal staff
- Educating attorneys about medical issues
- Providing testimony in court as an expert witness
- Preparing for depositions and trials
- Producing exhibits for trials and depositions
- Serving as a jury consultant for the legal team
- Consulting on product liability cases
Being a legal nurse consultant allows you to work in a variety of environments too, from government agencies to being self-employed. Now you’re interested, aren’t you?
If so, here’s what you need to do:
- Graduate from a two-year program for an associate’s degree in nursing, a three-year program for a diploma in nursing (usually hospital-based), or a four-year college or university program leading to a bachelor’s degree in nursing
- Take the RN licensing exam after graduation, also known as the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination). The NCLEX is a nationwide examination for the licensing of nurses in the United States and Canada
- Once you pass this exam, you may apply for your first nursing job
- Legal nurse consultants need to have a solid clinical nursing background so that they have an understanding of the medical nuances involved in cases.
- Work in general medical-surgical nursing, as well as specialty areas including obstetrics, orthopedics, rehabilitation, neurology, cardiology and others, can provide a solid foundation for the LNC.
- LNCs may also have advanced education, such as a master’s or doctoral degree.
If you’re ready to enroll in a program to earn your certification, you’re in luck. Nurse.org lists the University of Georgia’s program among its top 10. The two month course can be completed online and costs $1,195.
“Available to both RNs and PAs, the University of Georgia’s legal nurse consultant training prepares students to take and pass the Legal Nurse Consultant Certified exam,” the website wrote. “The program uses bi-monthly start dates with six start date options throughout the year, and students complete their courses online. The program requires 42 hours to complete and counts toward 4.2 continuing education credits. This quick, affordable program requires a much lower time commitment than other options on this list.”
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