How to Become a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant

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Nurses are medical professionals who serve in many varied roles. A nurse may choose to work in a hospital, academic institution or nursing home. A nurse may also work in a specific specialty, such as dialysis or maternity nursing. One such field of specialization is known as a certified legal nurse consultant. Certified legal nurse consultants work with members of the legal field to help them better serve their clients with medical matters.

  • Apply to nursing school. To become a certified legal nurse consultant, you must be a registered nurse. To become a registered nurse (RN), you must apply to a school of nursing, community college or four year program. Applications to nursing school can be quite competitive so make sure you have all paperwork done well in advance.

  • Complete your undergraduate nursing coursework. A legal nurse consultant must have completed all necessary coursework in nursing before she can apply for specialized training in legal nurse consulting. Nurses take classes in subjects, such as human anatomy, biochemistry and pharmacology. Nurses also take subjects in the liberal arts. Seek out classes that can help polish your communication skills and make it easier for you to work effectively with lawyers.

  • Pass your clinical coursework, graduate from nursing school and pass your state licensing exams. After you've finished with your undergraduate classroom studies you will be required to complete a term of hands-on student nursing under the supervision of a nursing instructor. During this time you will work directly with patients. Once you've successfully completed this term, you can apply for graduation from school. After that time you must pass state licensing exams to become employed as a nurse.

  • Spend at least two years working full time as a nurse. Legal nurse consultants are expected to have an extensive background in the field of nursing to help assist members of a legal team understand medical matters. If possible, spend time working in many different areas of a hospital. A legal nurse consultant with experience in multiple areas of medicine, such as an emergency room, cardiac care unit and surgical team, may face greater employment opportunities than one who has experience in a single area.

  • Complete studies as a legal nurse consultant. Programs are available for qualified candidates to help them gain certification in the field of legal nurse consultancy. Training consists of material that explains ideas, such as legal terminology, concepts relating to the judiciary system and the functions of the nurse within this system. A legal nurse consultancy course can be completed in as little as six days by attending seminars. After the nurse has completed the coursework, she takes a certification exam to indicate her mastery of the material in question. Once she's completed all necessary material she can apply for jobs in the field.

  • Apply for a job. You may want to continue to work as a staff nurse and work as a legal nurse consultant only part-time when you are just starting out and need more experience in the legal field. You may also wish to dive right in and work full time as a legal nurse consultant. Send in a cover letter and resume to law firms specializing in medical malpractice as well as insurance agencies hospitals where you can act as a liaison between the hospital staff and the legal department.

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