Questions about becoming an LNC

  1. 0
    Hi!
    Can anyone tell me about this if you do it? Do you love it? How did you get started? Did you do any type of certification? Any information would be really appreciated. I am thinking of doing this but not sure how to go about getting started. Thanks!!
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  3. 7 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    I took an online Legal Nurse Consultant course. Google it-there are many programs out there. I paid less than $1000 and I know there's a famous program out there that costs over $4000! It isn't going to get you working any faster or give you more cases than the course I paid for. What will get you started is joining your local chapter of Legal Nurse Consultants but you must be a member of AALNC first (American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants.) By going to meetings, you will be networking with other legal nurse consultants, most of whom have a wealth of experience and knowledge to get you started. I started going 3 years ago and since then got many referrals from my fellow nurse consultants who already have an established practice and/or group of attorneys who were looking for someone with my expertise (LTC.) Begin with the course and by joining the LNC association and local chapter. Good luck and please post and let us know how it turns out!
    Davey Do likes this.
  5. 0
    Cienurse - how many years of experience does a consultant typically have when transitioning into a career like this? Thanks.
  6. 1
    There are many courses out there that can teach you the basics. Be sure that the one(s) you take lead to the LNCC certification, the only one approved by the American Board of Nursing Specialties (as they used to be called, but that's still what most people call them). You want to go to the AALNC, American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants, get on their email listserv, and check out their educational offerings. They are a tremendously supportive group and will be able to give you good advice. Their 2-volume core curriculum is THE resource. (Peterson & Kopishke, eds., Legal Nurse Consulting Practices, 3rd ed.)

    At the most basic, attorneys would want to hire you to help them review cases to understand the medical and nursing issues. This means they want someone with a good clinical background-- this is totally not a job for rookies. All the LNCCs I know have been in nursing at least 15-20 years in a variety of settings. That's not to say that some less-experienced ones aren't doing it, of course. More is better when it comes to credibility with attorneys, though.

    Also, although the splashy ads say you'll be earning $125/hr in no time, many people never (that's never) earn back the cost of that program as LNCs. Marketing is hard. Do not count on work flying to you just because you took the course. Most people will tell you to plan on not quitting your day job for at least 5 years.
    Davey Do likes this.
  7. 0
    I am realtively new to nursing. I have been a nurse for about two years now and I am looking into this field. I am currently working for a hospice agency and at a LTC facility as a treatment nurse and in the past I have worked as a case manager for a home health agency. I am not sure if I have enough expereince to at least pursue legal nurse consultant. I don't want to wait until I have 10+ years to explore it. Any thought or insight would greatly be appreciated.
  8. 0
    You need many more years of experience to be in this field. That's the only way to acquire an expertise in the field of nursing care. You cannot learn that in a book. With only 2 yrs you or your opinions would be laughed at in court.
  9. 0
    I agree that RN experience is vital for the career as Legal Nurse Consultant.

    carolinabredRN, your experience as Case Manager is good because you've probably had to review tons of charts ensuring the nurse/healthcare provider, etc., adhered to P/P, SOP, etc. That's very necessary as a Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC).

    I suggest getting additional clinical experience as an RN, visit the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC site), and make a purchase of the recent edition of their text, Legal Nurse Consulting: Principles & Practice . Review some of the threads at the very bottom of the Legal Nursing forum here at allnurses for additional information, review the AALNC site FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions - American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC)

    With only 2 yrs you or your opinions would be laughed at in court.
    As a consultant, you do not see the inside of a court room, so this comment is incorrect. Now, if you choose to be an expert witness, then that changes things completely. Years and years of bedside experience is vital.

    We wish you well as you consider this career as a Legal Nurse Consultant.
  10. 0
    Quote from Bonnie Morris
    You need many more years of experience to be in this field. That's the only way to acquire an expertise in the field of nursing care. You cannot learn that in a book. With only 2 yrs you or your opinions would be laughed at in court.
    Big difference between assisting an atty to understand records and standards of care so s/he can decide on whether to pursue a case, how to identify appropriate expert witnesses to give opinions, and how best to depose witnesses AND being an expert witness yourself. While someone may fulfill both roles (I do, but not on the same case), it's not ethical to be an employee of a law firm and to testify as an expert in one of their cases-- it's a conflict of interest.

    As a legal nurse consultant I do all of that above list, if they ask me to, as a consultant, not an employee. I am paid upfront so the outcome of the case is not a concern to me financially. My work is atty work product and not produced in court; I am not deposed on it. Remember, what I find in my review may mean that there is no case to be pursued. And yes, I don't think I could do that well with only 2 years of clinical work behind me. I've been a nurse for mumblemumble years, and that's a lot bigger number than two.

    If I am engaged as a testifying expert in my field, I will be engaged after the atty has had somebody else do all that and then made the decision to pursue the case and put money into it, in part by paying my retainer before I commence work. I review all the relevant documents, research standards, and prepare a report that is shared with the opposing side, and I get deposed and may be asked to testify if my deposition hasn't scared the opposition into settling. Although my atty client pays me, I am acting as an expert for the court, meaning I cannot give a different opinion depending on which side hired me. I do defense and plaintiff work, so I can explain this if need be. As I am acting as an expert, I would, in fact, be disqualified pretty fast if I held myself out as an expert with only two years of experience.

    Hope that helps clarify things for you, BonnieMorris.


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