The Role of the Legal Nurse Consultant

  1. 1
    Hello everyone:

    Just recently developed an interest in Legal Nurse Consulting. I have been a nurse for 8 years now and work Neonatal ICU. I have also worked Pediatric Neurology. Anyway, I love what I do and don't plan to ever leave the bedside completely, but I do have an interest in the law and absolutely LOVE reading medical records/charts. Lets put it this way if I was locked up in a medical records department for a weekend I would be a very happy person

    LNC looks like a great way to make some extra money someday and maybe back of on bedside nursing some. I have some questions.

    1) Realistically what kind of person/personality does it take to be a LNC?

    2) What are the general duties of a LNC?

    3) Can you choose to specialize in one area of LNC such as OB/Neonatal?

    4) What is the range of time that you may be working on a case? (Ex. one
    week? 1 month? 6 months?)

    5) Our their opportunities to shadow LNC's?

    6) Our the training programs focused on medical law or is it law in general?

    7) Is it realistic to be able to work from home?

    8) In general do Attorney's and their staff respect LNC's?


    I'm sure I could think of more questions, but I think I will stop now.

    I know this is a lot of questions so thanks in advance
    hennesm81 likes this.
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  4. 2
    Quote from Humbled_Nurse
    Hello everyone:

    Just recently developed an interest in Legal Nurse Consulting. I have been a nurse for 8 years now and work Neonatal ICU. I have also worked Pediatric Neurology. Anyway, I love what I do and don't plan to ever leave the bedside completely, but I do have an interest in the law and absolutely LOVE reading medical records/charts. Lets put it this way if I was locked up in a medical records department for a weekend I would be a very happy person

    LNC looks like a great way to make some extra money someday and maybe back of on bedside nursing some. I have some questions.

    1) Realistically what kind of person/personality does it take to be a LNC?

    2) What are the general duties of a LNC?

    3) Can you choose to specialize in one area of LNC such as OB/Neonatal?

    4) What is the range of time that you may be working on a case? (Ex. one
    week? 1 month? 6 months?)

    5) Our their opportunities to shadow LNC's?

    6) Our the training programs focused on medical law or is it law in general?

    7) Is it realistic to be able to work from home?

    8) In general do Attorney's and their staff respect LNC's?


    I'm sure I could think of more questions, but I think I will stop now.

    I know this is a lot of questions so thanks in advance
    Hello, Humbled_Nurse,

    I apologize for the lateness of this reply. I've been away from the site for a while.

    This is great that you are considering LNC as a career. To answer your questions:

    (1) I think you have nothing to worry about regarding personality. You must be dedicated and persistent. Possess the ability to interpret accurately, the medical record. Be willing to spend countless hours pouring over a medical record (one of merit) searching for the commonality that links the 4 parts of the medical malpractice case.

    (2) Here are but a few of the duties of the LNC:

    a. Review a case for merit
    b. Interpret medical record and translate for the attorney-client
    c. Write brief to comprehensive reports
    d. Create timelines of important events and develop illustrations for demonstrative evidence
    e. Locate and secure expert witnesses
    f. Educate the attorney-client
    g. Define applicable Standards of Care (deviations and adherences)
    h. Conduct literature research applicable to the case
    i. Review, analyze and summarize depositions
    j. Prepare for deposition and trial preparation
    k. Attend depositions, trials, review panels, arbitration, and mediation hearings
    l. Assist in the preparation of witnesses and experts for deposition and trial
    m. Coordinate and attend independent medical exams (IME)



    (3) No, no specialty area of the LNC as consultant only. You will accept and review all types of cases. If you feel you are unable to handle a case, you can sub-contract. But, never refuse a case because you have little or no clinical experience in the area in question. Now that said, if you choose to be an expert witness then, yes, you will do this in your specialty area only. Since you are heavily NICU, your area of specialty would lie here. But, you do not have to be an expert witness in order to do consultant work. Some LNCs choose to NEVER testify.

    (4) Time spent on a case: That depends on what all is needed to complete the case. I've taken a case on Tuesday, the attorney wants a final report (comprehensive) on the following Friday. End of case. I'm currently still active on a case and have been for the past 6 months. Much depends on the attorney, the type of case, statute of limitations, court dates, etc.

    (5) If you know an LNC I suppose this is possible.

    (6) You are focused on nursing standards, clinical nursing, medicine which links, medical law. But, you are the consultant/expert in nursing and all that encompasses. You are not the legal expert and the "Law" is the domain of the attorney-client.

    (7) Yes, my business is in my home. You can also choose to be employed in-house.

    (8) Yes. Some require more education about the LNC than others.

    Bottom line: If you are truly interested, you need to start looking at different avenues of education. Please check out the sticky threads I have prepared at the top of this forum. You will find many educative avenues for the LNC.

    Finally, you need to possess the ability to market yourself. The key to success for the LNC. This takes determination, persistence and an un-dying ability to forge ahead despite disappointment. This career is not a "get-rich-quick" career nor is it a sham. Many pursue this and many fall to the wayside.

    If you have other questions, please feel free to contact me via private message and/or post here.

    Good luck.
    Last edit by sirI on Aug 18, '07
    punkingirl and zadee123 like this.
  5. 0
    Thank so much Siri for answering my questions. It was very helpful. Trust me if I have more questions I will definitely ask you
    Last edit by sirI on Apr 27, '06
  6. 0
    excellent, humbled nurse. i really believe you will not only excel at this, you will really enjoy it as well.

    good luck.
    Last edit by sirI on Apr 27, '06
  7. 0
    Thank you for this thread! This is where I am headed as a career goal, and you made a lot of sense out of this for me...
  8. 0
    Quote from hennesm81
    Thank you for this thread! This is where I am headed as a career goal, and you made a lot of sense out of this for me...

    Hello, hennesm81,

    When you have questions about the career, start a new thread and ask away. We will be glad to address them.

    Good luck with your decisions regarding the career path.
  9. 2
    Hi there, I'm coming at being a legal nurse from a different angle - I'm actually an attorney considering going back to nursing school. I've been in practice for about 15 year, work part-time now and make $60/hr (in Sacramento). A rather large chunk of the work I do is reviewing medical records. (I also do motions and take depositions, but I love reviewing medical records and am not fond of the acrimony and stress involved practicing law). Given that I'm already part-time, I'm debating whether it's worth it to go back to school if I'm going to make significantly less money. I'd love to keep the parts of the job I love and ditch the deadlines and craziness of litigation. Can I get a realistic number on what legal nurses make? And do hospitals hire? Or do you have to go into business for yourself? Thanks.
    Aviationurse and lindarn like this.


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