Published Sep 3, 2020
I have an opportunity to review a case for an attorney. They are asking for a fee schedule. What is a fair hourly rate? I am not certified. Thx
Hannahbanana, BSN, MSN
It's not generally considered appropriate to discuss fees in a public place. However, I can tell you that most nurse experts (yup, that's you now) generally get somewhere between $250-500/hour for records review, conference, and report writing, and get 10 hours up front as a retainer to avoid getting stiffed. I don't know any attorneys who would balk at that for a second. Get it in writing before you start looking at anything or discussing the case in anything but the most general of terms.
You can get good examples of language to use at the LNC online group at [email protected] or the AALNC journal at aalnc.org.
Legal Nurse Consultation fee structure :
Reference: Introduction to Legal Nurse Consulting, Cynthia Weishapple, West Legal Studies 2001
The general rule of thumb is that compensation should be consistent with the current salary.
A higher salary is associated with years of experience medical/legal consultation, educational background and certification.
A nineteen-year-old reference, not current, not useful, I'd never cite it in depo. Besides, I didn't go into this line of work to earn the same lousy salary I used to get.
Your fee can be whatever you ask and whatever a client is willing to pay. If they're routinely paying $800-1000/hour to a physician with 15 years of experience (and they are) you can certainly charge $400-500 for comparable expertise. Publications, speaking/presentations, degrees, licensures, certification as an LNCC or certificate from some other programs, ongoing membership and volunteering in professional orgs, and other activities make you more credible and therefore more valuable.
I agreed with your input.
I am a long time RN, recent graduate of course for LNCC. From that student perspective, I shared what I have learned from class, currently practicing Legal Nurse Consultants who are mentoring me, and yes AALNC membership.
True enough the Weishapple reference I used is dated in years.
The applicability to the fee schedule suggestion remains in terms of the question asked.
I have always valued this site as mentorship and place to learn from others in the field of practice/study
Thank you for your response. I look forward to this safe space to engage with you and other members as we learn and grow collaboratively and collegially.
I find that a lot of new LNCs have a moderate case of imposter syndrome, I.e., the idea that they are just novices, not really experts worth more money than they earned as staff. I started a long time ago and the first time I asked for $100/hour I was shaking in my boots, sure that I would get laughed at and never get work for that. I had a colleague tell me I should be charging twice that...and it took me a few years before I got my nerve up to do that. Now I bill a lot more than that (and get a 10-15-hour retainer UP FRONT) and I haven't had an atty blink at that. That's standard of practice. Get it in writing, like the true professional you are.
The fact is that you get retained for your nursing expertise. You know more about hospitals, nursing, medicine, policies and procedures, and med records than any attorney, and they need you to help them c that. You ARE an expert. It's not like being a new nurse when you don't know squat and you're not at a level of somebody with years of bedside work. You DO know a lot about what they need you to know.
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