What Does A Legal Nurse Consultant Do

Posted April 6th, 2011 in How To Become A Legal Nurse Consultant, Legal Nurse Consultant Employment by Legal Nurse Consultant

The  role of the Legal Nurse Consultant depends on the environment in which she is working.

Legal Nurse Consultants may own their own consulting businesses.  Their job may include working as a consultant with Plaintiff or Defense Attorneys or they may testify as an Expert Witness on a malpractice case.

Legal Nurse Consultants may also be employees of  other companies, such as insurance companies, hospitals, or law firms.

The job descriptions may be different in each setting, but the overall work that they do is to interpret and evaluate medical information in a way that clarifies a given medical situation.  They use the Standards of Care for interpreting whether correct procedures were followed and whether the procedures caused harm to the patient.

Specific Tasks performed by the Legal Nurse Consultant can include:

  • Searching Medical and Nursing Literature
  • Organizing Medical Records
  • Determining if Standards of Care were met in a given medical situation
  • Assessing whether an incident cased medical injuries
  • Preparing questions for an attorney to ask
  • Being present and taking notes at Independent Medical Examinations
  • Evaluating Medical Records to determine if a case has merit
  • Writing reports for the attorney based on their findings
  • Testifying at trials if an expert in their field
  • Assisting in preparing Life Care Plans for individuals who are injured due to malpractice or personal injury

The Legal Nurse Consultant uses all of their Nursing Education, training , skills and experience in  their consulting role.  They interpret medical data and knowledge of the health care system to assist in understanding and clarifying if and/or how a patient was injured due to a particular procedure or incident.  The job description and the tasks performed by the Legal Nurse Consultant can expand with the particular work performed, the attorney they work with or the company they work for.

 

 

 

 

Where do Legal Nurse Consultants Work

Posted April 7th, 2011 in How To Become A Legal Nurse Consultant, Legal Nurse Consultant Employment by Legal Nurse Consultant

Although many legal Nurse Consultants set up their own businesses and work as Independent Contractors, everyone who becomes a Legal Nurse Consultant does not choose to become self employed. Owning your own business means you must be dedicated to doing your own marketing, handling your own business requirements, paying your taxes and motivating yourself each day to work your business
Working for another company is a viable option for Legal Nurse Consultants. Most Legal Nurse Consultants who work for another company work Monday thru Friday with paid vacations, holidays and sick time. Some other advantages include regular work hours, regular paychecks and benefits such as medical insurance and retirement plans. Not everyone enjoys being self employed. It will be important for you to determine if you are best suited to self employment or working for someone else.
Companies that hire Legal Nurse Consultants include:
• Insurance Companies
• Plaintiff Attorneys
• Defense Attorneys
• Health maintenance Organizations
• Hospitals
• Other Medical Facilities
• Private Industries
• Government Entities
Most companies who hire Legal Nurse Consultants will require that you have an active Registered Nurse License as well as experience either in a specialty field or a broad base of Nursing experience as well as training as a Legal Nurse Consultant. Some companies may require some type of legal training. Companies that will provide on the job training also hire Registered Nurses as Legal Nurse Consultants. There are many companies that offer courses in Legal Nurse Consulting. These courses can be taken online, by CD, or in an actual class setting. You will have many options and can choose the type of course that can work best for you.
Your updated resume will be required for employment. You will want your resume to include your educational background, all of your relevant Nursing experience, as well as courses you have taken in Legal Nurse Consulting. Your resume should be very professional. If you need assistance, there are many resume service companies who can help.

How to Market Yourself and Get Legal Nurse Consultant Jobs

Posted April 12th, 2011 in How To Become A Legal Nurse Consultant, Legal Nurse Consultant Employment by Legal Nurse Consultant

Finding work as a self-employed Legal Nurse Consultant will mean that you will need to effectively market yourself to those needing your consulting services so that they know you are available.

After setting up your business entity you will need to have your business cards, stationary, and envelopes printed.   These will become a part of the presentation you will mail to the businesses, such as attorneys, that you would like to consult with.  In addition to the above, you will need to have a professional resume that highlights your areas of nursing expertise.  Be sure to include all of your contact information.

Once you have all of your materials for marketing yourself, you will be able to seek work in the following ways.

  1. Make a list of attorneys in your area who specialize in malpractice and personal injury cases.

You will find listings of attorneys in the Phone Book and by contacting your State Bar Association,

  • Asking friends and acquaintances if they know anybody  who would benefit from your expertise.
  • You may also use search engines on the internet to locate attorneys.
  • Networking continuously through business organizations in your city such as Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Club Meetings
  1. Call the attorney’s office to let them know you will be sending information to them.
  2. Follow up on the mailing with another phone call and ask for a short appointment with the attorney.
  3. One of the most effective ways of finding work as a Legal Nurse Consultant will be to send out a periodic Newsletter to attorneys in your area with your contact information as well as newsworthy articles that attorneys will find of interest in their work.  If you do not feel that writing a Newsletter is your area of expertise, use a Legal Nurse Consultant Newsletter writer to write for you.

 

 

What Items Will I Need to Begin Work as a Legal Nurse Consultant?

Posted April 20th, 2011 in How To Become A Legal Nurse Consultant by Legal Nurse Consultant

What will I need to begin work as a Legal Nurse Consultant?

There are some special items you will need to begin your work as a Legal Nurse Consultant.  Fortunately, most of them you may have and all will be somewhat familiar to you.  Equipment and Supplies will include the following:

  • Dedicated office space in your home with office furniture and supplies
  • A Filing System  and necessary forms
  • A computer and printer are absolutely necessary.  You may receive records via email from your attorney clients, and your work will require a computer.
  • A locked cabinet in which to store records when you are not working on them
  • A dedicated phone line that can be used for your business
  • A fax machine, or if you prefer, a dedicated fax number thru one of the many internet services that will provide fax via email.
  • Your business cards and stationary
  • Reference materials for Nursing, Medical Research, and other resources
  • At least one business suit for meeting with your attorney client

This list of equipment and supplies will expand as your Legal Nurse Consultant business expands.  You will soon know which other items you may need to purchase for your growing business.

If you choose to work in some else’s office as their employee, of course, they will provide all of the equipment and supplies you will need.  If you work as a subcontractor, you will need to purchase your own equipment and supplies, just as you would if you owned your own business.

 

Reasons You Should Become A Legal Nurse Consultant Now

Posted May 2nd, 2011 in How To Become A Legal Nurse Consultant by Legal Nurse Consultant

There are many benefits to your becoming a Legal Nurse Consultant now, including flexibility, increased income, greater independence and becoming a valued member of a team. You have unique skills, experience and knowledge to bring to the assessment and planning process with your attorney clients.

As a Registered Nurse, you are an ideal health care professional to assist in interpreting medical records. You will also become part of a team as a respected and valued member.

The need for Legal Nurse Consultants will continue to grow as more and more patients use an already heavily burdened health care system. As long as there are medically related cases that must be decided by our judicial system, there will be a need for attorneys, and attorneys will need help from a qualified medical professional in understand the complexities of the health care system and standards of care for patients. As a Legal Nurse Consultant you will be able to assist attorneys and their clients in navigating thru the maze of health care systems that can often be confusing to non medical professionals.

You will also be able to benefit from your years of experience in the health care system in a monetary way as a Legal nurse consultant. Legal Nurse Consultants who work independently earn more per hour than their nursing counterparts who work in typical inpatient or outpatient settings. As a Legal Nurse Consultant, you will be able to financially benefit from your years of training and working in an established medical facility as a Registered Nurse.

One of the great benefits as an independent contractor or self employed Legal Nurse Consultant is the flexibility in your schedule. You will be able to set up your own home office and decide your work hours. If you are a morning person, you will be able to work mornings, if you are a night owl, you can choose to work as late as you like. Independence and flexibility in working hours are incredible benefits as an independent Legal Nurse Consultant.
Increased income, flexibility, independence and professional respect are just a few of the many benefits in this growing field. Now is the ideal time to begin training to become a Legal Nurse Consultant.

What is the Typical Legal Nurse Consultant Training Course Curriculum?

Posted May 2nd, 2011 in Legal Nurse Consultant Course, Legal Nurse Consultant Training by Legal Nurse Consultant

A Legal Nurse Consultant training course should cover the basic legal rules, terminology, and etiquette that you will need to get started working as a Legal nurse Consultant. Beginning a new career field will, however, require that you continue learning about your role, duties and responsibilities far beyond any Legal Nurse Consultant course that you may take, whether it is online or in a classroom.
Some of the things will learn in a course will include:

  • Legal terms, definitions and processes
  • How Standards of Care are used in the judicial process
  • The Role of the Legal Nurse Consultant in the judicial process
  • How to evaluate and write a report on a medical case
  • How to find work or market your Legal Nurse Consultant business

You should be given study material, including a study guide that you will be able to use for reference in the immediate stages of becoming a Legal Nurse Consultant, and further on in your career. These resources will be invaluable in your work and your learning.

Because the field is highly unregulated, your Legal Nurse Consultant training will vary greatly depending on what training course you take. Currently, there is no required standardization process for becoming a certified Legal Nurse Consultant other than that you are a Registered Nurse. You will be responsible for learning as much as you can beyond the course that you choose to take.

The legal process will require that you continue to train, learn, and go beyond your course curriculum in becoming a competent Legal nurse consultant. This continued training and learning will ultimately benefit you in your work with your attorney clients and in your own growth as a Registered Nurse.

You will still be using your nursing knowledge, the nursing process and your experience as a Registered Nurse, but with a different goal and plan.

What are the Requirements to be a Legal Nurse Consultant?

Posted May 2nd, 2011 in Legal Nurse Consultant Requirements by Legal Nurse Consultant

The only absolute requirement for being a legal nurse consultant is that you are a Registered Nurse. The field is new and highly unregulated. However, Legal Nurse Consultants typically take some extra measures to learn more about the legal field and show prospective employees that they are serious about a new career path.

Before you open up the legal dictionary, it is important that you have had some time and experience working in a nursing clinical field. Typically 5 years of working as a nurse is sufficient, but if you are determined, you may find gainful Legal Nurse Consultant employment with less.

The experience you will have gained in understanding and using the Nursing Process with will be invaluable in your ability to work effectively as a Legal Nurse Consultant.

It will greatly benefit your being hired if you have taken some type Legal Nurse Consultant certification course.  Perspective employers will look for someone who can help them understand and assess medical cases for merit.  Taking a Legal Nurse Consultant training course is invaluable in helping you understand what will be required of you as a Legal Nurse Consultant and how to deliver a work product to your employer or attorney client that is concise, professional, clear and accurate.

Not all Legal Nurse Consultants have taken a course.  Remember the profession of Legal Nurse Consulting is currently unregulated.  However, having a course listed on your resume will be of great advantage to you and to your potential employer.  You will be required to be able to write up your cases effectively, and that will include good writing skills, and a working knowledge of the Nursing Process and Standards of Care. Your prior nursing experience and use of the Nursing Process will be an asset in being hired.

You will also need to tailor your professional resume that highlights your education, training and experience as a Registered Nurse. It is important to market yourself well as a Legal Nurse Consultant, as you may not work in a single position full time, so you may wish to opt for a professional resume service. Chances are, you will be passing it around your local legal community for many eyes to see, and a good first impression is absolutely vital.

Armed with these qualifications, you will most certainly meet the Legal nurse consultant requirements necessary to find suitable employment.

 

 

Legal Nurse Class Diary – Day 1

Posted May 28th, 2011 in Legal Nurse Consultant Course, Legal Nurse Consultant Training by Legal Nurse Consultant

I’m sharing with you a little bit about my journey to become a Legal Nurse Consultant. Here is a diary summing up my legal nurse course experience.

First Day of Class

It was exciting getting an overview of what we would be covering in my Legal Nurse Consulting Course, meeting the other motivated Registered Nurses, and getting all of the study materials for the course.  This was my first day of class for my new career, and the first time I’d sat in a classroom in 25 years! Yet I felt very optimistic that I could complete the course and learn the material.  There was a lot of material to cover, such as legal terms, what legal nurse consultants do, the kinds of cases we will work on, how to use the nursing process in our work, marketing, interviewing and so much more. There were a lot of legal terms in an over-sized book that were very easy for me since I have a best friend who is an attorney and shares a lot with me.  However, it was a reminder that I would have a lot to master before beginning my new career.

Read what happened on Day 2 of class

After class I drove home feeling positive and optimistic.  I read most of the material during the legal nurse consultant class and during the breaks, so I was glad not to have to study at night.  I reminded myself that it has been a few years since I have sat in a classroom all day, so I think relaxing and calling it an early evening was my best choice.  I called the first day a success.


Legal Nurse Class Diary – Day 2

Posted May 28th, 2011 in Legal Nurse Consultant Course, Legal Nurse Consultant Training by Legal Nurse Consultant

Day Two of Class

Today was even better than the first day because I was not nervous and knew what to expect.  I was sure I could do very well in the class and learn the material and begin my career at the end of the class fully ready to take on the world of Legal Nurse Consulting.  I met more nurses, we exchanged business cards and the excitement was building.  Some of my learning skills from college were coming back to me and I felt pretty comfortable with everything.  However, the last couple of hours of class were a little different, we had moved from legal terns to more complex case reviews.  I realized I needed to focus more in class instead of  reading ahead to the next chapter.  Driving home was stormy and a little scary at the end of the day because of severe thunder storms.  I did not realize at the time that it was also a forecast of the next couple of days in class.

Read what happened on the 3rd and 4th days of my legal nurse consultant course



Legal Nurse Class Diary – Final Days

Posted May 28th, 2011 in Legal Nurse Consultant Course, Legal Nurse Consultant Training by Legal Nurse Consultant

Final Days of Classes

Even though our instructors continually reassured us that we would be able to become proficient, competent and excellent Legal Nurse Consultants during the entire class process; it wasn’t until the last days of class that my mind grasped the truth.    I knew more than I thought I did, I could still learn new processes involving nursing, I could apply my new knowledge in a Legal Nurse Consulting setting and be very successful.   I felt successful already.  I was ready for the next challenge of my new career.  We all said our goodbyes, exchanged last minute emails and promised to stay in touch.  But mostly we vowed to get started on building our new career right away.  I came home feeling relieved and satisfied. I had completed the course, learned a lot, and would continue learning  about my new career.