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Legal Nurse Consultants Help Make the Case

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legal nurse consulting

Nurses, in less than twelve months you could use your medical know-how and nursing expertise to open up new and exciting opportunities away from the confines of traditional healthcare settings. Be able to leave those 12 hour shifts behind and earn as much as $200 an hour while enjoying independence and respect as a Legal Nurse Consultant.

The Legal Nurse Consulting Certificate allows registered nurses to have options beyond medicine. The combination of health care expertise and legal know-how can put your medical knowledge to use in a legal setting. You could assist attorneys and their clients in understanding the health care issues related to medical malpractice and personal injury lawsuits.

Legal Nurse Consultants Help Make The Case

Legal nurse consultants evaluate, analyze, and render informed opinions on the delivery of health care and the resulting outcomes. Legal nurse consultants act as collaborators and strategists, offering support in medically-related litigation and other medical-legal matters in a wide variety of cases such as elder care, personal injury, negligence, worker`s compensation, product liability, abuse, compliance, malpractice, and more...

Few attorneys or paralegals have the knowledge or experience to read medical records and comprehend them, let alone be able to "read between the lines". Legal nurse consultants offer specialized healthcare education and clinical expertise to the medically related issues of the litigation process. This education and experience distinguishes legal nurse consultants from paralegals and legal assistants and provides the foundation for the legal nurse consultant`s ability to recognize, interpret and analyze all relevant medically related information in a claim or case. In the area of tort law and medical liability, attorneys and legal nurse consultants work as an inseparable team.

Legal nurse consultants with backgrounds in ALL areas of nursing are needed. According to the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants, "most LNCs have a broad background in medical-surgical nursing, often in the critical care area. Many have experience in specialty nursing practice such as obstetrics, oncology, cardiology, or neurology. A broad background in medical-surgical nursing provides a familiarity with subject matter that enable LNCs to review and critically analyze a wide variety of legal cases."

"When medical negligence, injury or illness is involved, legal nurse consultants can help lawyers prepare winning cases or save time and money when complaints cannot be medically substantiated." (Kansas City Star article (2/3/09), "Lawyers may benefit from nurses in medical malpractice suits.")

Reading between the lines on medical charts

James B. Reed, Esq., of Ziff Law Firm, in Elmira, NY wrote recently about a medical malpractice case his firm handled where the Legal nurse consultant made all the difference. The case involved a wrongful death action against a local hospital. In the official hospital chart there were less than five sentences by a nurse documenting her care of the patient over the 12 hours before his death.

If you just looked at the chart for this time period, you would have assumed that the care of the patient was just fine and you wouldn`t have a clue why he suddenly died. However, at the deposition of the nurse, the Legal nurse consultant learned that the chart did NOT accurately reflect the patient`s care and that there was TONS of important patient information that was NOT documented. A legal nurse consultant has the expertise to spot gaps and inconsistencies in medical records. This case helps illustrate why Legal nurse consultants are an important part of the litigation team. They can offer essential information at a crucial point in a successful case - before it is even filed. Attorney Reed goes on to say, "There is no substitute for case analysis by nurses who have worked in the trenches and who know that a lot of the bad things that go on in the treatment of a patient NEVER make it in to the written chart despite medical training that requires ALL relevant medical data regarding a patient to be charted."

Kaplan University`s Legal Nurse Consulting Online Course

Kaplan University offers an Online Legal Nurse Consulting Certification Program that provides an interactive learning experience and can usually be completed in less than one year. Kaplan University is accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, an accreditation commission formally recognized by the United States Department of Education, and Kaplan University offers a number of financial aid opportunities including grants, loans, and scholarships for students, and qualifies for most employer tuition reimbursement programs.

Earning your Legal Nurse Consulting Certification online allows working nurses the convenience of studying and doing their course work on their own schedule, any time of day, from any place they have computer access. Since you learn at your own pace, the amount of information retained from online courses is often greater. Since there`s travel involved, the cost of online learning is substantially less than learning similar materials in a traditional setting.

Courses Include

  • Introduction to Legal Nurse Consulting
  • Civil Litigation for the Legal Nurse Consultant
  • Principles of Tort Law and Medical Liability
  • Medical Records Summary and Review
  • Health Care Risk Management
  • Networking and Marketing Strategies

Demand for Legal Nurse Consultants

Demand for Legal Nurses is at an all-time high at law firms, insurance companies, government agencies, and health care risk management departments. They may also provide health care risk management support and education or open their own consulting practices. Earnings range from $70 to $200 per hour for professional legal nurse consulting services.


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