Legal Nurse Consultant

A legal nurse consultant is an individual who has earned a degree in nursing, most often bachelor’s or advanced nursing degrees, who consults with attorneys and other legal professionals in legal matters that pertain to health care. Some practice independently on a contract basis, while others are directly employed by law firms, insurance companies, and other corporations in a variety of capacities. While some legal knowledge is bound to be absorbed through experience with the legal system, an education in law is not required to become a legal nurse consultant.

The role of a legal nurse consultant is to use their extensive knowledge and experience in the medical field to educate attorneys and others involved in healthcare related legal cases in the medical issues involved. Reviewing medical records with an attorney to help determine whether professional negligence or malpractice occurred is a common task performed by a legal nurse consultant, as is assisting an attorney in preparing for a deposition of a plaintiff or physician in such cases. Assisting a legal team in becoming familiar with medical terms and practices can be part of the duties of a legal nurse consultant, and testifying as an expert witness is sometimes required.

To become a legal nursing consultant, one must have a significant amount of experience as a practicing nursing professional, along with a graduate degree in nursing. A certification in the nurse legal consultant specialty is desirable as well, adding knowledge and credibility in the field.

The nursing professional who is ready for a break from the fast pace of the hospital emergency room or trauma center could do well with a career as a legal nurse consultant. By taking advantage of knowledge already gained through nursing education and experience, you can start down an entirely different avenue towards a successful new career.

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