The job openings for nurses nowadays have gone far beyond the hospital and university doors. What used to be so simple in the past, when all you have to decide on is what area you would like to focus on, has gotten more complicated. The choices that are available now include nurse practitioners, licensed practical nurse, and referral nurses along with specialized hospital jobs like cardiac surgery nurses or nurse managers.
One of the recent additions to this already wide field includes being a licensed consultant nurse (LCN). The primary step to becoming an LCN includes building your expertise of different medical cases and their possible legal implications. The basic educational requirement consists of a registered nurse license and a paralegal certification. On top of this, a candidate should have good communication skills, possess critical thinking skills, be able to do detailed researches and should be able to multi-task.
An LCN’s main job is to provide sound medical opinion to both medical and legal professionals. They offer their opinion to a legal team and perform varied tasks such as the assessment of medical records, interviewing other medical experts, researching relevant information, and preparation of reports as requested by law professionals, to determine if a client has received appropriate care. They can also be called on to act as witnesses in court to lay out their case reports. Common legal cases that require the assistance of LCNs include medical malpractice, nursing liability, sexual assault, worker’s compensation, and wrongful death.
Potential employers include private law forms, hospitals, insurance companies, or consulting firms. Depending on your expertise, you can be employed as a full time employee or work as a consultant where you can charge on a per case basis. The average income of an LCN may vary according to the type of institution that employs them and their level of experience. But in general, full time LCNs received approximately $60,000-$80,000 annually, while private consultants earn $100-$200 per hour.
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