Education as a Legal Nurse Consultant
Registered Nurses are very intrigued by this career path in nursing and find it fascinating to work with Attorneys. They look at this career choice as a prestigious, admired, and highly respected career. Many are interested only because they are "burned out" of bedside nursing and think this is the answer to all their problems; never be bored again. This is the last reason anyone should choose this as his or her life's work.
I preface this lengthy Article to show that the RN needs no formal education to practice as a Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC) ..... they need RN experience and the ability to apply Standards of Care (SOC) to the patient chart, how to follow the Nurse Practice Act (NPA), and adhere to Policies and Procedures of the hospital/clinic.
Now, in saying all of the above, there are many educative entities for the RN seeking formal education as an LNC.
There are two major entities that many RNs choose:
- The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC)
- The Vickie Milazzo Program
Both offer basic education as an LNC.
The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC)
The AALNC is an online program with, currently, 8 Modules of study. (11-27-14)
AALNC is working to deliver an all-new, enhanced LNC Online Course. This three-year effort will replace the current eight course modules with twenty shorter modules for more convenient, interactive learning. Individual modules will also focus on each of the top five practice areas based on the 2012 Practice Analysis.
The first release in 2014 includes the following revised modules:
- Introduction to Legal Nurse Consulting
- Legal Fundamentals
- Interacting with Plaintiff/Defense Clients
- Medical Records Identification, Access, and Analysis
- Researching Medical Information and Literature
- Communication and Report Writing
- Identification, Evaluation, and Collaboration with Expert Witnesses
Mark your calendars! The first phase of the new online course modules will be available for purchase in the coming month. Check back here for details on how to purchase the new modules once they are available. 11-27-14
One considering this avenue of education should purchase the most recent version of the text: Legal Nurse Consulting, Principles and Practice. I suggest purchasing this text whether you decide to complete the modules or not. It is an an excellent text and the RN can gain a lot of necessary information to work as an LNC.
If the RN completes the course of online study, they are awarded a "certificate of completion". This is not a "certification". In order to be certified with the AALNC, the RN (completing the course or not) must meet requirements to sit for the examination. The requirements include:
Eligibility Criteria Guidelines
The activities that satisfy the eligibility requirement for 2000 hours of legal nurse consulting experience must meet all three of the following criteria:
- The activities must be performed at the request of a client (e.g., a law firm, insurance company, hospital, or other agency involved in legal processes), and
- The activities must be related to claims or cases in which the education and experience of a registered nurse are necessary, and
- The activities must be of the kind that are generally considered billable.
Examples of these activities are:
- Collecting, organizing, and reviewing medical records and other relevant healthcare or legal documents.
- Summarizing and analyzing the information in medical records and other relevant healthcare or legal documents.
- Assessing issues of liability, causation, and/or damages.
- Researching relevant healthcare-related literature, guidelines, standards, regulations, etc.
- Communicating verbally or in writing with clients, appropriate parties, experts, and witnesses.
- Identifying, locating, evaluating, and conferring with experts.
- Conferring with clients and appropriate parties regarding case strategies.
- Drafting documents or other materials to be used as attorney work product or as evidence.
- Attending interviews, depositions, hearings, mediations, arbitrations, or trials.
- Contacting and conferring with vendors to develop demonstrative evidence or to collect costs of healthcare services, supplies, and/or equipment.
- Testifying at depositions, hearings, arbitrations, or trials.
- Training or supervising other nurses in the practice of legal nurse consulting.
- Explaining the theory and practice of relevant health sciences or healthcare issues to legal professionals and other members of the legal team.
- Instructing other healthcare professionals in the aspects of legal liability pertaining to their own practice.
Activities which may be potentially billable but may NOT be used to satisfy this eligibility requirement are:
- Traveling to and from sites to perform any of the above activities.
- Accounting and billing as part of managing a business.
- Marketing as part of managing a business.
- Solely waiting to give testimony.
The RN who successfully completes the certification examination will use the designation LNCC (Legal Nurse Consultant Certified). This is the only legal nurse consultant exam accredited by the American Board of Nursing Specialties.
The Vickie Milazzo Program
This program is a 6 day program and once completed, the RN sits for a certification examination. Upon successful completion of the program, the RN can then use the designation CLNC (Certified Legal Nurse Consultant).
There are several other LNC programs that are popular with the RN community which include:
Advanced Legal Nurse Consulting Certification Course. This is a DVD Home Study Program. Once completed, the RN can then sit for certification.
There are other programs offered by Attorneys in different states. Some Community Colleges offer LNC certificate programs.
One thing to beware, check with your Board of Nursing (BON) regarding CEUs as an LNC. Many BON only accept continuing education if the RN is certified as LNCC from The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants.
Please see RN Experience when Considering the Legal Nurse Consultant CareerLast edit by Joe V on Jan 11, '15
About sirI, MSN, APRN, NP Admin
sirI is an APRN with many years experience as OB-GYN NP - BC, (Emeritus), FNP - BC, and Legal Nurse Consulting. Her specialty areas include OB-GYN, trauma, education, and medical-legal education. She conducts seminars for nursing students, nurses, Residents, and other healthcare providers educating them on how to avoid litigation, assisting them with depositions, and conducting "Mock Trials" where the students are the players in the court proceedings. sirI is a Senior Administrator for allnurses.com.
Joined: Jun '05; Posts: 107,634; Likes: 27,903
MedLeg Consul/Educator/WHNP-FNP; from US
Specialty: 35 year(s) of experience in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB