Legal Nurse Consultant

A legal nurse consultant, also commonly referred to as a LNC, is a registered nurse who uses their knowledge as a health care professional to help solve cases. These consultants receive legal training so they can accurately provide advice for medical related cases. This career is generally referred to as legal nursing.

Not all attorneys understand the complicated medical terms and requirements for a patient’s health care. Therefore a legal nurse consultant will supply the information needed to solve the case and offer any opinions he or she has on the subject as well.

A legal nurse consultant can work for insurance companies, utilization review firms, government agencies, private corporations, and hospitals as both staff members and consultants. Being able to work in many places allows a legal nurse consultant a lot of options for a comfortable and profitable full-time or part-time job. A legal nurse consultant has many different responsibilities and services they can offer. Some of these include assisting with discovery, conducting research, reviewing medical records, identifying standards of care, preparing reports and summaries on the extent of injury and illness, and locating expert witnesses. They may also serve as expert witnesses themselves, although they usually work behind the scenes.            

Since the early 1970’s registered nurses have been acting as consultants to the legal profession on nursing and health care issues. It began when expert witnesses offered their opinion on malpractice cases. The Judicial system now recognizes nurses as better consultants to provide information on nursing care and practice than doctors. In 1999, the distinction between the practice of paralegal and legal assistants and the nursing specialty practice of legal nurse consulting was determined. The AALNC, American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants, has decided that legal nurse consultants fall under the category of the profession of nursing rather than a special category of paralegals.

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