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The American College of Legal Nurse Consulting


Role of the Legal Nurse Consultant

Legal Nurse Role

legal nurse at a library doing research

Registered Nurses have an excellent chance to diversify their practices from the patient’s room to the court room.  If you have an interest in nursing and health care legal issues then the role of a Certified Legal Nurse may be perfect fit for you.

Attorneys are in need of credentialed and trained nurses to consult on nursing malpractice and other health care related legal cases. While the attorneys knowledge is in the law, they need someone to bridge the gap between the law and the world of nursing and health care.   As a legal nurse you will assist attorneys on a variety of cases involving legal issues associated malpractice claims as well as other health care related claims.
As a Legal Nurse Consultant, you will need to possess a dedicated and persistent character that is willing to spend time and energy on a variety of cases. Legal nurse consulting is an excited, intense and very rewarding practice specialty for registered nurses.

Legal nurse consultants study the elements of nursing and medical malpractice as well as many other areas of health care claims such as worker compensation claims, product liability and more. This practice specialty is growing all the time in both popularity and in demand.

Where do Legal Nurse Consultants Practice?

Legal nurse consultants are employed in many areas such as private consulting, in law firms, in solo legal practices, in insurance companies and in health care organizations. In health care organizations they can be seen working in the area of risk management.

General components and role activities

The role of the certified legal nurse consultant is often broad based, but can be narrowly focused as well. Some legal nurse consultants are highly specialized in one specific area of practice, such as obstetrical nursing malpractice.  Some of the major role components include:

  • Analyzing medical records in nursing and health care malpractice cases
  • Prepare summarizations of medical and health care records
  • Educate the attorney clients on nursing standards of practice
  • Educate the attorney clients on all facets of nursing and health care delivery
  • Educate the attorney clients on diagnostic test results
  • Identify the elements of negligence in malpractice cases
  • Identify deviations from the standards of care in malpractice cases
  • Prepare comprehensive consulting reports on cases
  • Prepare expert witness reports
  • Serve as a testifying expert in nursing malpractice cases
  • Assist in the recruitment of qualified expert witnesses for cases
  • Interview and obtain needed information from patients who the attorney is representing
  • Work with retained expert witnesses to prepare for testimony
  • Assist the attorney client in preparing questions for expert witnesses
  • Assist in plaintiff cases and /or defense cases of malpractice
  • Develop charts /graphs and other types of presentation materials for use in depositions and trials
  • Assist the entire legal team with the investigate of a potential case
  • Assist the entire legal team with litigation or defense of an established case
  • Consult with the attorney client on specific nursing legal and ethical issues
  • Assist the attorney client with trial preparation
  • Serve as a jury consultant to the legal team
  • Assist the attorney client in evaluating jury decisions and outcomes
  • Prepare summary reports of related depositions
  • Assist the attorney client with depositions
  • Consult on product liability cases
  • Consult on worker's compensation cases
  • Consult on personal injury cases
  • Consult on risk management strategies for organizations
  • Practice in the risk management department of health care organizations
  • Educate organizations, nurses and health care professionals on practice issues related to legal and ethical concerns
  • Be an advocate for safe and ethical nursing and health care practice
  • and more

The above highlights the basic role and types of cases that legal nurse consultants work with. The role is expansive and provides nurses with a real opportunity to grow within its practice. The role of the certified legal nurse consultant is highly respected today and attorneys and organizations find them extremely valuable to their own goals and missions. Through the years they have been integral players in the world of nursing and health care malpractice and related issues.

Are you interested in becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant? If this practice specialty interests you then please review our program and feel free to speak with our advisors regarding our complete education program and courses leading to qualifications to achieve the certification.

Legal Nurse Consulting BLOG: Please visit our interactive Legal Nurse Consulting web blog. Our blog contains article, news and current events and information related to this specialty nursing practice.

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