Legal Nurse Consulting Salary In The United States
Legal nurse consultants are highly skilled professionals who usually work closely to lawyers, attorneys and other legal professionals in law firms. The average yearly salary of a professional legal nurse consultant varies a lot depending on whether the professional works independently or for a company – these people typically charge premium fees in order to serve as expert witnesses, and they can earn as much as $200 per trial testimony. Nonetheless, the median yearly wage of a legal nurse consultant that is hired by a legal company is usually between $50,000 and $75,000.
Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States
In addition to the training and the work environment, the geographic location of the legal nurse consultant is yet another factor that affects the annual earnings of these professionals. It is known that the top three states where these people earn the highest salary are Maryland, California and New York, where they are paid above-average salaries that often reach $110,000 a year, according to Pay Scale. On the other hand, legal nurse consultants who live and work in the states of Georgia, Connecticut and Texas should also expect to earn salaries that are above the national average, salaries that usually reach $80,000.
Legal Nurse Consultant Job Description
The legal nurse consultant, most commonly known as the LNC, is the professional who has in-depth knowledge in both the medical field and the legal field. It often happens that lawyers, attorneys and other legal professionals are not familiar with medical terminology as such – this is where the LNC steps in and serves as a bridge. Simply put, LNCs are usually registered nurses who offer in-depth medical information to legal professionals about all the legal cases that are related to medicine.
They provide expert advise and they offer their expertise in fields like nurse training, education or clinical experience. Moreover, these professionals also evaluate all the legal and medical cases or claims to see if they rise up to the expectations, they critically analyze both the medical literature and the health care records that apply to a legal case and they also analyze all the other documents that are essential to the resolution and the evaluation of any claims and cases that are both legal and medical.
Simply put, the legal nurse consultant serves as a collaborator, a strategist, an educator and an analyst for lawyers and other legal entities. Their contribution is often essential across all the different types of medico-legal cases or claims, and they are extremely important members of the legal team. Other duties and requirements of the legal nurse consultant involve interpreting the medical record and translating the different medical and nursing terms, write a brief to the comprehensive reports, create a timeline of the medical events in order to help the legal consultants better understand the scenario, review a case for merit, provide expert testimony and such.
Some LNCs choose to work individually while others are part of large and well-established firms, where they serve as a liaison between the health care community, the client and the legal professionals – that being said, most legal nurse consultants work for law firms, insurance companies, health care facilities, LNC consulting firms, government agencies and so on.
How To Become A Legal Nurse Consultant
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- Doctor of Nursing Practice
Becoming a legal nurse consultant requires some formal training and experience both in the medical and the legal field. First and foremost, in order to become a LNC one must firstly become a registered nurse, and this typically lasts up to four years to get a degree in nursing. Once they have received the degree, these professionals need to complete a 6-week program in LNC training and take classes in medical malpractice, legal terminology, legal system and such. At the end of that training session, it is important for the registered nurse to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination or the NCLEX-RN and seek certification from the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants or any other organization that is nationally recognized.
Regarding the formal requirements, becoming a legal nurse consultant only requires a vocational diploma, an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s Degree in legal nurse consulting or in general nursing, coupled with a state nursing license and a legal nurse consultant certification along with no less than five years of experience in general nursing.
Completing an internship is yet another program of utmost importance, especially since most legal nurse consulting certificate programs also provide their students with internship opportunities. LNCs must possess a series of notable skills, such as an increased attention to detail or good communication skills. At the same time, these professionals must be detail oriented and they must be able to conduct legal research with the help of computerized systems and manual systems.
Another essential part of one’s efforts to become a legal nurse consultant is gaining their certification – in spite of the fact that as a registered nurse, you do not need a certification in order to work as a LNC, it does demonstrate a very high level of training and skills. The first step toward gaining your certification as a LNC is showing proof to the AALNC that you have completed at least two thousand hours of legal nurse consulting services throughout the past few years, and it also requires you to pass a vigorous exam. During the exam, your skills, training and knowledge in the field of medical malpractice, personal injury or risk management will be carefully tested, and if you are deemed suitable for the certification you will receive it.
Legal Nurse Consultant Salary In Canada, Australia And The UK
Legal nurse consultants who work in the UK can earn a yearly salary of up to 64,000 pounds, while those who live and work in Canada typically collect a median yearly wage of around C$73,000. On the other hand, LNCs who work in Australia should expect a mean yearly salary of around AU$80,000 or more, depending on their work environment.
Verdict On Legal Nurse Consultant Salary
To sum it all up, legal nurse consultants get the best of both the legal and the medical field, and their salary is certainly very satisfactory as well. Independent LNCs can even charge an hourly rate of up to $200 or even more, depending on their experience, and this certainly makes freelance legal nurse consultants better paid.