Nursing School Programs for Legal Nurse Consultants

Legal nurses are one of the more ultra specialized areas of the industry. Few RNs have the mettle or interest to pursue this brass tacks niche, but those that do reap big pay-offs.

Schools of Nursing for Legal RNs

Legal Nursing is a marriage of professional specialties: nursing and law. Combine these and you are able to provide a unique and in-demand set of skills and knowledge.

It’s common to find Legal Nurse Consultant programs offered at both schools of nursing and some law schools. Typically this is a certification course or examination that expands upon your current skills and expertise as a Registered Nurse at any level of practice.

Programs may run a few months and to nearly a year in length.

What types of nurses are eligible to pursue a Legal Nurse Consultant’s certification?

  • Associates degreed RNs
  • BSN RNs
  • MSN RNs
  • PhD RNs

Certifications in Legal Nurse Consultancy are common at the post-grad level as well.

Role of Legal Nurse Consultants

In the business of nursing and medicine there exists plenty of opportunity for legal issues to arise. Physicians can be sued, as can nurses for all manner of issues arising from a disgruntled patient, surgery gone wrong, unfortunate patient outcome and legitimate medical mishaps that should never have happened. Who better to bridge the communication gap between medical professionals and the legal system but a Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC)?

LNCs are instrumental in translating patient care, scope of nursing practice and required competencies, and various medical practices to patient attorneys and vice versa. In many cases there is an alarming lack of understanding between these often opposing entities.

Career Opportunities for Legal Nurses

Legal Nurse Consultants are growing in popularity and demand. Professionals can opt to carve out a career full-time or as a part-time consultant. LNC job opps:

  • Part of a law firm
  • Consultant to hospital legal staff
  • Working RN who provides legal expertise to nursing staffs
  • Nurse educator with legal expertise
  • Member of a corporate nursing/legal team
  • Private legal nurse consultant/expert witness

The potential for marketing oneself as an expert in this field is massive.

Curriculum for Legal Nurse Consultant Students

Obviously the course work associated with getting appropriate training in legal nursing emphasizes Law. Common courses include litigation, ethics, American court system, legal system and related cases, trial process, tort law, how to conduct legal research, legal writing, documentation and communication, deciphering and research of medical records, and techniques involved in interrogation and witness preparation.

The American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants is the leading organization providing support for professional legal nurses.

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