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Nurses may be the most in-demand health care position in the country.

Legal Nurse Consulting

  • Average Salary: $125 to $150 per hour
  • Prerequisites: Certified registered nurse; hold current RN license
  • Known States in Industry: Texas, New York, Georgia, Missouri, Connecticut, Louisiana and California.

Degree Description:

Legal nurse consulting is an exciting field for RNs who want to become the liaison between legal and healthcare personnel. Although formal training is not required to become a legal nurse consultant, it is highly recommended for nurses who need more instruction and training in the specialty. Students in a legal nurse consulting program will learn about civil litigation, torts and medical liability, healthcare risk management, medical records and legal terminology that will be used to consult with attorneys and businesses about various medical cases. Legal nurse consulting programs train students to interpret and understand legal information, as well as collaborate with legal experts to discuss medical information and develop case strategies. Legal nurse consulting programs can vary in length and demands, but most are only one to two semesters long with just a few classes.

Salary and Job Outlook:

Most students who complete a legal nurse consulting program go on to practice as a legal nurse consultant. Legal nurse consultants' salaries vary based on many factors. For starters, legal nurse consultants who work as independent consultants typically earn hourly pay, whereas LNCs who work at law firms, insurance companies and other organizations are usually paid a salary. LNCs' salaries also depend on employer, job responsibilities, experience, education level and location. LNCs who are paid on an hourly basis can make anywhere from $125 to $150 per hour, according to the Medical-Legal Consulting Institute.

Job Prerequisites:

In order to enroll in a legal nurse consulting program, students will need to have a high school diploma, a nursing degree and be a certified registered nurse. Many LNC programs do not require students to have a BSN, just a current, unencumbered RN license. In addition to the academic and licensing requirements, prospective LNCs should also have a strong interest in law and litigation.

Industry Demographics:

Many legal nurse consulting programs are offered online and at vocational schools and community and junior colleges. In order to find the best LNC programs and jobs, you should research the states with the highest concentration of employees in this industry and the states that pay the most. According to PayScale, the states with the highest LNC salaries are Texas, New York, Georgia, Missouri, Connecticut, Louisiana and California.

Future Options:

If you've already completed a legal nurse consulting program, there are still plenty of exciting opportunities for you to further your education and career. Since some legal nurse consulting programs do not require you to hold a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), you could always go back to school to pursue this valuable degree. A BSN would increase your job responsibilities if you wanted to return to nursing or healthcare administration. If you'd rather stay in law, a BSN, or any other bachelor's degree, would help qualify you for admission into law school.

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