About Legal Nurse Consulting

 

What is a Legal Nurse Consultant?

Nurses are meticulous people. Requirements throughout their careers, mean nurses are continually updating their education and competencies. These traits, in concert with their dedication, reliability, and professional experience inside the healthcare industry, make nurses on target to function as a legal nurse consultant.

 

Description

Nurses are always advocating for safe and ethical health care practices. Legal nurse consulting is considered a specialty field of nursing by the American Nursing Association, not a legal specialty. Legal Nurse Consultants (LNCs) work as behind the scenes consultants, fact witnesses, and testifying experts. We provide professional reports after comprehensive reviews of medical records. LNCs look for any deviations from the Standards of Care (SOC) or evidence of tampering in a chart. We work with defense or plaintiff attorneys. Some LNCs work in-house with legal firms. Other LNCs are self-employed and work independently with many clients. Additional roles that LNCs perform include medical research, participating in independent medical exams (IMEs), assisting with depositions, and helping to develop interrogatories. We work with insurance companies and health care organizations. In health care organizations, LNCs frequently work in risk management. Some LNCs also pursue certificates of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) or Nurse Life Care Planners (LCPs). They may serve in criminal settings as well.

 

History

Nurses have informed and assisted attorneys by reviewing health-related cases for over 50 years. Throughout our nursing careers, we create and review charts daily. We understand the charts better than any other healthcare worker, including the physicians. LNCs are also less expensive than the physicians that attorneys, insurance companies, HMOs, hospitals or government agencies hire for chart review and organization, report writing, assisting with depositions, creating demonstrative evidence (visual aids), and locating or testifying as experts. All licensed nurses can perform these services in not only their current state of licensure but all states. Some nurses get specialized training, certificates, or degrees to pursue these various types of legal nurse consulting career paths. The Legal Nurse Consultant Certified (LNCC) is the only certification with the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants endorsement and is accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification.

 

Areas of Practice

LNCs work in all areas of litigation involving medical records. These areas can include personal injury, nursing home abuse, nursing malpractice, criminal (sexual assault, Medicare fraud, etc.), worker’s compensation and workplace injury, product liability, mass tort, pharmaceutical, toxic tort, elder care, Medicare set-aside, and more. We also work in health care facilities doing quality reviews to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations. LNCs instruct organizations, nurses, and health care professionals on practice issues related to legal and ethical matters. We work with patient safety organizations, as well. LNCs can assist the risk managers in evaluating or creating policies to minimize exposures to liability. We assist legal teams with the investigation of cases by developing visual charts or infographics, and materials for use in depositions and trials. Nurses can best perform interviews and obtain desired facts from those who attorneys represent. Attending depositions, trials, review panels, arbitrations, and mediation hearings are all facets of the LNC specialty. Forensics is another area in which some LNCs are involved.

 

Nurses

If you would like to find out more about the specialty of Legal Nurse Consulting, we encourage you to go to the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants website at http://www.aalnc.org/

You can also email our WVUOV-AALNC Chapter and we will help with any questions you may have.

 

LNCs

If you are a member of AALNC and would like to join a Chapter, please consider WVUOV-AALNC. We are an online Chapter with members all across the country. This is great for networking, finding subcontractors, or working as a subcontractor for someone.

We have a webinar every month. These webinars cover a range of topics and you can earn CEUs. Members can purchase these webinars at a reduced price. We would love to have you. Please go to our membership page for more information.

 

Attorneys

Our Chapter has nurses from a variety of specialty areas. If you are looking for a Legal Nurse Consultant, please contact us at hello@wvuov-aalnc.com. We also have a list of CVs in our expert section of this website. We are available to assist you with cases or provide more information about the ways that nurses can benefit you.

 

From AALNC:

What is a Legal Nurse Consultant?

Legal nurse consulting is the analysis and evaluation of facts and testimony and the rendering of informed opinions related to the delivery of nursing and other healthcare services and outcomes, and the nature and cause of injuries. The legal nurse consultant is a licensed registered nurse who performs a critical analysis of clinically related issues in a variety of settings in the legal arena. The nurse expert, with a strong educational and experiential foundation, is qualified to assess adherence to standards and guidelines of practice as applied to nursing practice.

 

AALNC - About Certification

Certification as a Legal Nurse Consultant Certified (LNCC®) shows nurse colleagues, clients, employers, and others in the medical-legal system that you are knowledgeable of, experienced in, and committed to the specialty of legal nurse consulting. The process of becoming certified enhances your professional development and provides opportunities for professional growth. Click on the links below to learn more about this valuable investment in your career!

AALNC - Examination Process

The certification examination is based on an analysis of legal nurse consulting practice. The practice analysis and the examination were developed with the assistance of SMT. The test consists of 200 multiple choice items and is approximately 4 hours in length. It is designed to test the nurse's ability to apply legal nurse consulting knowledge. Questions are in the form of case studies; a reading passage is followed by one or more questions related to the passage.

AALNC Position Statements

The following position statements express AALNC's stance on important issues related to legal nurse consulting:

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