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1 GIVE YOUR NURSING CAREER NEW LIFE.

2 Even if you love your job as a registered nurse, you could be feeling restless and are ready to find a new adventure. That doesn t mean that you have to put your years in the nursing field behind you. You can start a new journey by building on the skills you fostered in the nursing field. If this sounds like you, you may want to consider becoming a legal nurse consultant. As a legal nurse consultant, you can apply your knowledge and expertise as a registered nurse in a legal atmosphere, rather than in a medical environment. It can be just the shift you need to spark your career while still helping those around you. In this ebook, we will show you just what a legal nurse consultant is, what they do, how much they earn, and how you can get started. If you choose to pursue a career path as a legal nurse consultant, you can honor the training, hard work and experience you have as a registered nurse and start a new, adventurous career, where you will learn new skills and apply your knowledge and expertise. WHAT IS AN LNC? A Legal Nurse Consultant is someone who has an R.N., B.S.N., or M.D. credential and uses that knowledge to assist in litigation dealing with healthcare. The expertise of a registered nurse is invaluable to an attorney working on a case that involves medical malpractice, personal injury, billing fraud, and more. While it may seem like a big change to move from nursing into the legal arena, the nursing process isn t that different from the legal process. They both require the abilities to analyze, assess situations as well as outcomes, create and implement action plans, and evaluate their effectiveness. While you won t be practicing law, in some cases you will need to know how the law applies to the situation at hand. You can become an LNC no matter what area of nursing you worked in. A broad knowledge of nursing helps enable you work on a variety of cases. It s recommended, but not necessary, that someone looking to become an LNC have at least 5 years of clinical experience. A successful legal nurse consultant is capable of being professional, analytical, and self-motivated. As an LNC, your job duties may include helping attorneys or other individuals: Interview clients Analyze Medical Records Interpret Medical Literature Analyze the Medical Aspects of a Case to Determine if it is Worth Taking Work as a Liaison with other Medical Professionals Attend Independent Medical Examinations Identify Future Medical Needs of a Client Based off of the Case at Hand Help Attorneys Manage their Cases and Prepare Trial Strategy Work Alongside Expert Witnesses And More Working as an LNC can be a greatly rewarding career if you have the right mindset and training. Now that you know the basics of what it means to be a legal nurse consultant, let s take a look at the different kinds of jobs that you can find yourself in if you choose to become one.

3 TYPES OF JOBS AVAILABLE TO A LEGAL NURSE CONSULTANT LNCs practice in areas of civil and criminal litigation involving injuries and/or medical treatment. LNC practice areas are as diverse as clinical nursing practice areas. Many LNCs are independent practitioners and own their own businesses. These LNCs offer consulting services to attorneys and insurance companies. Here are some of the requirements for being an independent practitioner: Self-motivated, works well independently, is self-confident and assertive, and has the time, financial resources, and business skills to develop and maintain a successful business. Flexible schedule. Work with more than one attorney-client or firm, and bill by the hour for their consulting or expert services. Considerable time engaged in non-billable business management activities such as marketing, building a library, bookkeeping, invoicing and col lection, and in some cases, supervising other employees. Other LNCs are employees, and referred to as in-house LNCs. Here are some examples of where you could work and what you would be expected to do as an in-house LNC: Law Firms - Provide assistance to attorneys in cases involving healthcare and other medical issues such as medical malpractice, personal injury, toxic tort, and product liability. Hospitals, Ambulatory Care Centers, and Clinics - Review medical records, conduct patient and employee inter views, prepare reports pertaining to adverse patient outcomes, participate in meetings regarding the facility s liability exposure, and make recommendations regarding the resolution of claims. Insurance Companies - Serve as case managers, utilization review specialists, medical bill auditors, policy development coordinators and claims adjusters. Government Agencies - Assist in the defense of state agencies, write health care policy or administrative rules, assist in analysis and investigation of cases involving compensation for injuries or government funded health care fraud cases. Healthcare Systems - Ensure that the health care services payable according to the benefits of the insurance policy are provided in the most cost efficient means possible. Federal or State Patient Safety Organizations - Analyze individual patient safety reports, and to aggre gate data from statewide facilities in order to identify trends in patient safety events.

4 Business and Industry - Work with attorneys and corporate health care associates on workers compensation treatment, costs, and litigation issues. A Legal Nurse Consultant s Legal Practice Area Options LNCs work in many legal specialties, but most often, in civil and criminal litigation. Personal injury law includes any case where an individual has incurred a physical or emotional injury due to negligence. Some LNCs specialize in one or two practice areas, while others may work on many different types of cases. An in-house LNC will typically work on all types of medical legal cases handled by their firm. Here are the different types of legal practice areas for LNCs, and what is expected of them in each: Professional Negligence - Develop medical literature search skills and familiarity with the medical library, professional organizations, and other resources to locate evidence of the applicable standards of care. Personal Injury (non-medical malpractice) - Identify, organize and summarize the medical records, analyze the records to determine whether the negligence caused an injury, and if there are pre existing medical conditions, including whether there was likely aggravation of a pre-existing condition. Product Liability Work with cases that involve injuries and illnesses caused by an alleged defect in a product, device, or drug and in some cases, a failure to warn about the alleged defects. Toxic Torts Assist in finding causation of the injury resulting from exposure to hazardous chemicals or substances claimed by a plaintiff or group of plaintiffs in class action litigation. Workers Compensation - Reviews medical records, prepares claims for hearings, or acts as the medical case manager to coordinate the medical care provided to injured workers. Case managers generally have the Certified Case Manager (CCM) certification, and strong clinical backgrounds in orthopedics, rehabilitation, occupational nursing, or home health care. Medical Case Management - Assist clients with long-term disability or catastrophic illnesses or injuries such as spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, high

5 risk pregnancy, or psychiatric illnesses to ensure coordination of appropriate health care services among all providers. A Certified Case Manager (CCM) or Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse (CCRN) credential, strong clinical background in orthopedics, rehabilitation, occupation nursing, or home health care are useful for this role. Criminal - Provide expertise to criminal defense or prosecuting attorneys by reviewing and analyzing medical evidence, assisting with crime scene investigations, and interviewing and communicating with medical experts. For this role, you will need to obtain additional education (e.g. forensic training) in this specialty practice within the criminal law area. Forensic Nursing Apply forensic aspects of healthcare education in the scientific investigation of trauma and / or death-related medical-legal issues. It is helpful for forensic nursing if you have expertise in providing nursing care and counseling to victims of sexual assault (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner or SANE nurse) and other crimes producing bodily injury. Expert Witnesses - Serve as expert witnesses in cases involving alleged deviations in the standard of nursing care in their nursing specialty. Generally, you should have an advanced degree or specialty certification, and many years of clinical experience in the area about which they testify. Life Care Planning - Consult with attorneys to prepare a life care plan of future medical care needs for a client with a permanent disability resulting from a personal injury or professional negligence. You should have specialized training in developing life care plans, a strong clinical background in rehabilitation and disability management, as well as a thorough knowledge of community resources. SALARY OF A LEGAL NURSE CONSULTANT Perhaps you are ready for a change in career from your current position, but you might be asking yourself, Will the change in salary be worth it? Here s a breakdown of the average salary of Legal Nurse Consultants to help you see what estimated income opportunities there are for LNCs. According to Payscale.com, the average salary for a Legal Nurse Consultant in the United States is $70,593 per year, or an average hourly rate of $54. In comparison with the salary of a registered nurse ($65,470 per year/$31.48 per hour), that s an increase of over $5,000 a year! However, that s just the average pay the salary range per year can vary between $51,965 on the low end, and $211,959 on the high end. Location and experience may play a role in your salary.

6 Becoming A Legal Nurse Consultant LNCs come from all areas of nursing; 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 Neurology A broad background in medical-surgical or critical care/trauma nursing provides a familiarity with subject matter that enable LNCs to review and critically analyze a wide variety of medical legal cases. A minimum of 5 year s prior clinical experience is recommended prior to entering the LNC profession, but is not required. Many LNCs want certification to back up their experience, which they can find with the Legal Nurse Consultant Certified (LNCC) credential. To be eligible for the certification, you must have: Current licensure as a registered nurse in the United States or its territories, with a full and unrestricted license A minimum of five years of experience practicing as a registered nurse Evidence of 2000 hours of legal nurse consulting experience within the past three years To be fully prepared for such a certification usually requires plenty of knowledge on the subject, on top of experience. But where you do you get that knowledge? Most LNCs have no legal background when they begin the transition from clinical nursing to the legal field. Don t worry there is training available to you! GET YOUR LEGAL NURSE CONSULTANT TRAINING WITH THE PARALEGAL BRIGHTON COLLEGE Your dream of becoming a Legal Nurse Consultant is within reach all in the comfort of your home, thanks to the Paralegal Brighton College s online Legal Nurse Consultant Program. The Legal Nurse Consultant Program builds on your medical experience and knowledge with the legal theory, terminology, and procedural insight needed to begin a brand-new and fulfilling profession as a Legal Nurse Consultant. Our Legal Nurse Consulting program includes specialized areas of: Legal Research Legal Analysis and Writing Legal Nurse Consulting Litigation & Trial Practice Torts: Personal Injury Law These programs will provide a foundation in Legal Nurse Consulting knowledge to students who possess the R.N., B.S.N., or M.D. credential. We offer open enrollment, so you can start on your career path whenever you are ready. With affordable tuition, flexible payment plans, and course completion possible in a year or less, why wait? You no longer have to put your future on hold. Become part of the Paralegal Brighton College Legal Nurse Consulting Program today. Request information now about our Legal Nurse Consulting program, or contact an Admissions Representative now at

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