Legal nurses or legal nurse consultants are parts of a jigsaw that connect healthcare and law. A legal nurse consultant is well versed in medical knowledge and responsibly analyzes and evaluates the facts to testify the nature and cause of injury in a medical-legal setup.
Most nurses act as expert witnesses in medical cases (malpractice, product liability, and personal injury, etc.). In addition to being collaborators and analysts of data, legal nurses can also be educators, strategists, and researchers.
You might think of a dramatic courtroom scene where the medical professional sequentially explains the atrocities carried out on the murdered and the family of the innocent child breaks into tears. Well, a legal nurse is that professional but the scenes are not as dramatic as in the films.
Training Of A Legal Nurse
So many ask the question: is a legal nurse similar to a medical nurse? Yes, in order to become a certified legal nurse consultant (LNC) you need to first obtain a nursing degree. A nursing degree requires you to learn the working of the human body (anatomy, physiology, psychology, etc.).
After getting registered as RN i.e. Registered Nurse you can opt for further certifications. Once you’ve gained about 2000 hours of experience in the healthcare industry you can complete a legal nurse consultant certification or a parallel program.
Where Does A Legal Nurse Practice?
As already mentioned, a legal nurse acts as a liaison between the healthcare setup and the legal community. This is why there are a number of places where a legal nurse can lend services:
● Government agencies
● Healthcare facilities
● Law firms
● Insurance companies
● Forensic groups and environments
● Specialized consulting firms (LNC firms)
● Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
LNCs can also offer services in legal departments of business/industrial setup or chose to provide independent services.
What Role Does A Legal Nurse Play?
A legal nurse plays a crucial role in medico-legal matters. These matters are of delicate nature and must be handled with responsibility and care. Presenting true facts is of utmost importance. Most LNCs work as collaborators and strategists, therefore, the major role is played in the following scenarios:
● Personal injury cases
● Forensics and criminal cases
● Civil rights protection
● Employment discrimination
● Toxic tort (harm caused by exposure to dangerous substance)
● Medical malpractice
● Product liability
● Lifecare planning
● Employment discrimination
● Risk management
The different roles of a legal nurse are discussed in detail in this study. Forensic investigation is the main site of action for an LNC.
A legal nurse (consultant) is a registered nurse that has specialized in a legal consultation. An LNC is a bridge between the medical and law communities. Most legal nurses work as an expert witness in medical-legal cases, helping the attorney to reach a conclusion. Any registered nurse can complete a legal nurse consultation certificate to become an LNC. You can then provide services as a collaborator, educator, researcher, analyst, or strategist in a law firm or an insurance company, etc.