Legal Nurse Consultant Job Description
The daily work of a legal nurse consultant can vary greatly. It will depent upon where you decide to work. If you work for an attorney or insurance company where duties remain strictly in the medical-related legal field. Legal nurse consultants review medical records, conduct research, and prepare reports for attorneys to evaluate standards of care. The consultant helps the attorney prepare the legal deposition by explaining medical jargon and complicated health issues. A consultant may help prepare witnesses or take the stand personally as an expert witness. A legal nurse consultant may spend much more time in a courtroom or as a specialized member of a litigation team. If employed by an attorney, a LNC can expected to work on cases including medical malpractice, personal injury, criminal cases, and class action litigation. If you work independently the sky is the limit. You can be the consultant or the testifying expert. Just be sure to negotiate tha with your attorney up front. Your hours are up to you, but your work you get is up to you to market and get as well. Marketing is not an easy thing for nurses to do and the market can be dfficult.
Legal Nurse Consultant Salary
Salary can vary greatly for legal nurse consultants depending on the type of employment. Salary can be based on years of experience, location, and case load.
According to Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, an LNC makes anywhere from $100-$150 hourly. They typically work 40 hour work weeks with additional time when it is necessary for cases. According to Payscale.com, the median national salary of an RN is around $50,000 annually. When an RN becomes a legal nurse consultant this salary becomes considerably higher up to $80,000. If you are working independently the general hourly wage is $125.00 hourly for consulting. If you are in the realm of a Testifying Expert then the charge changes greatly around te country. The general hourly rate for a TE appears to be $175-$225 hourly.
Legal Nurse Consultant Job Outlook
Job outlook for legal nurse consultants is good, as jobs growth is expected to be high over the next ten years as medications and practices are reviewed in the courtroom or by government agencies.
According to the Bar Association, 25% of the 1 million practicing attorneys in the US deal with medical malpractice and personal injury cases. The exact number of legal nurse consultants is not known, however, with high demand for medical experts in the legal field, it is expected to be high. It is difficult to determine the actual number of legal nurse consultants since so many work freelance, and are registered with their primary career in nursing.
Legal Nurse consultants also find employment with insurance companies, government agencies, private corporations, and hospitals. In fact, legal nurse consultants are in high demand at all of these locations as well as attorneys offices. HMOs and other agencies are constantly seeking medical experts with legal experience.
Problems In The Industry
Payment! Getting payment when you are an independent LCN at times can be a major headache. I have had outstanding bills for 3 months sometimes. This is problematic at best.
Some information was obtained from: Healthcare Training Center.com