Nursing in the Legal Field

  1. I just wanted to share that there are other options besides becoming an legal nurse consultant. I work for a law firm that handles Social Security disability and personal inury cases. It involves alot of medical record/history deciphering / analyzing. There is a market for it.
  2. Visit ERRN92 profile page

    About ERRN92

    Joined: Sep '04; Posts: 50; Likes: 62
    paralegal for social security claims/nsg history; from US
    Specialty: Er/ICU/Med-Surg/Home health


  3. by   direwolfRN
    Any idea what the ave salary for this type of specialty and what is this position called?
  4. by   nurseprnRN
    That's called an in-house legal nurse consultant. Most salaries I've seen for that are around $60-75K.
  5. by   netglow
    There is a nurse I know that insists a new grad with no nursing experience can work as a LNC. Could this be at all true? Would she be referring to more of what the OP is posting?

    I have not read anything on AN that even begins to show that this is a possibility. If you are a second career nurse with a business background, I could see it contributing to your confidence, but not in analyzing a legal medical case with very detailed switches and turns with a multi-morbid critical patient for example.

    Where might she have got the idea that this would be possible? She just says you just have to "sell it" and know how to look like you know what you are doing, and that what you learned in college is enough with some added research per case that is supposedly not that difficult to do, you just need to look things up. This person has many years experience in nursing, so I kinda wonder if she is thinking of how things used to be eg "back in the day" (LOL). I'd think a nurse without nursing experience if put on the stand (I can't believe any lawyer would put one on the stand with no nursing experience) would be immediately discredited by the simple question, "Tell the court about your nursing experience and education"

    Am I nuts or is she?
  6. by   Evelyn 830
    I've been researching the field myself. I started by looking at jobs in Legal Nursing. The requirements are 5-10 years experience. I don't see how a new nurse could offer much to the field without experience. I know as a new nurse I couldn't have.
    I could use some advice on what schools to attend. There are so many.
  7. by   nurseprnRN
    An in-house nurse isn't going to be put on the stand as a testifying expert, because as an employee of the attorney you would then have a vested interest in the success of the case and you would be shot down for bias. The attorney, meanwhile, has hired you to be the in-house nursing expert to help figure out whether a case has merit from a medical/nursing standpoint. There's no way an inexperienced nurse can take a 600-page record (maybe several of them a week) and get through it efficiently to get the gist of the medical issues in the time frame needed. The attorney will rely on you to give them the good news and the bad news, because if you can find bad news, you can bet the opposing expert can find it.

    If you are a legal nurse consultant who might be asked to testify, you will be testifying about your area of (current) expertise. You are hired by either the plaintiff or defense to give her best information, because the role of a testifying expert is impartial; that is, even though the hiring attorney is paying you, you cannot slant your testimony. You are not a patient advocate in this role. The attorney is the advocate. You are responsible to the court to give your best estimate of the truth, without reservation. If you don't do this and your testimony is discredited, you lose a lot-- you can't be trusted, and you'll have a hard time getting more work. You have to turn down cases you're not qualified for, because if you start faking it, you will be found out.

    So there are two different roles here...and neither one is going to be offered you without a convincing set of expertise, analytical ability, speaking/writing/teaching ability, and credibility. All the nurses I know who are working in these roles are really, really not rookies.

    If you're interested, go to the AALNC, American Assoc of Legal Nurse Consultants, for info on courses and certification. Another choice would be the American Assoc of Nurse Life Care Planners, AANLCP, for life care planning, which can be a great consulting gig.
  8. by   Havin' A Party!
    Quote from netglow
    ... a nurse I know that insists a new grad with no nursing experience can work as a LNC...
    Oh, oh... I'm hearing a loud scam alert.

Must Read Topics