How To Become A Legal Nurse
The fields of law and nursing are closely connected, as many legal cases are related to medical issues. During a medically-related legal case, a legal nurse consultant (LNC) will use his or her expertise in their field of interest to assist. The consultant usually acts as a liaison between the two fields. An RN wishing to expand his or her career can benefit by becoming an LNC.
A LNC helps businesses and attorneys to read medical records, understand medical terminology and to locate and collate evidence for law-related matters. LNCs are not only hired by lawyers, but also by other law enforcement agencies and insurance companies. It is a good idea to decide upfront which area would be most suitable. Freelancing is another option for LNCs that wish to be employed on a more flexible basis. Consulting allows the person to work from their own home or office and to go see clients when necessary.
He or she will also review cases, educate the involved parties on medical issues, identify standards of health care, examine records and help with research. Locating and interviewing patients or witnesses is another job description of an LNC.
As an expert witness, the LNC will sometimes testify in court. With the information gathered relating to the case, the LNC will help the lawyer determine the merits of a case. As part of the research, the LNC will analyze documents and compare those documents with the allegations.
Effective speaking classes will stand the LNC in good stead. Speaking well will enhance a person’s chances of being hired and to articulate information better. These lessons will also teach the LNC to remain calm, as it is very easy to become flustered on the stand.
To become a LNC, a person must first obtain a nursing diploma or a degree. Most people who wish to become LNCs also complete industry related certificate programs. The subject matter covered in these courses generally include torts and medical liability, health care risk management, civil litigation, medical records review and summary, legal terminology and more.
For an LNC to be employed, most employers will prefer candidates who have a minimum of three years experience in nursing. Registered nurses have to be licenced by passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurse. Most LNCs gain certification from the AALNC (American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants. Regular ongoing education should be undertaking in order to maintain certifications and licenses and to stay abreast on the advancements in the medical field.