If you’re an experienced RN looking for a career change, why not consider becoming a legal nurse consultant? This exciting and challenging career will allow you to use your well-honed medical skills to help attorneys interpret medical records and other medical information as it relates to lawsuits and other legal matters. A successful legal nurse consultant (LNC) skillfully combines medical and nursing skills with legal knowledge.
With concentrated, specialized training in personal injury and medical malpractice law, LNCs are valuable assets to attorneys who need expert opinions cases related to these legal categories. Legal Nurse Consultants can consult on everything from simple personal injury cases, like automobile accidents, to complex and high profile cases involving celebrities, major corporations and well-known products and pharmaceuticals.
Legal nurse consulting is a burgeoning field. It’s estimated that about 25% of the nearly 1,000,000 attorneys practicing in the United States handle personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Although highly skilled in legal matters, many attorneys don’t know how to read medical records and charts. In addition, the terminology in these records often requires interpretation or clarification. A legal nurse consultant is a valuable asset to these attorneys, since he or she has a background in case law and the civil litigation process that compliments his or her formal medical training.
Since the services of LNCs are charged on a fee basis, much like attorneys, the field is particularly lucrative. A typical fee of about $20,000 would include the following services provided by a LNC to an attorney:
– Analysis of medical records associated with the case
– Preparation of any necessary trial exhibits
– Preparation of witnesses for both deposition and trial testimony
– Attendance at trial
– Preparation of questions for cross-examination
In Texas, projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that nursing will be the fastest growing occupation over the next five years. Historically, nursing jobs provide long-term stability. The Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies estimates that the demand for nurses in the state will grow by 86% while the supply will grow by only 53%. The need for legal nurse consultants is expected to experience similar growth.
The state of Texas has a diverse, vibrant and highly productive economy. While Texas is typically known for oil production, it also is a leader in agriculture, with more farmland than any other state. Texas ranks second in overall cost of living in the United States and is a leader in high tech and manufacturing jobs. The job outlook for Legal Nurse Consultants in Texas is expected to remain positive for many years to come.