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Legal Nurse

Legal Nurse Certification, Nurse Schools, Nurse Programs


Legal Nurse Consulting


The term, of official designation of “legal nurse consultant” is a relatively recent formalization of a long established legal practice: testimony from expert witnesses.  Legal nurse consultants (LNCs) start out as nurses in a variety of clinical settings: medical-surgical nursing, emergency, quality assurance, obstetrics, and many others.


They often begin the practice of legal nurse consulting by assisting an attorney in reviewing medical records, providing explanations for terminology and procedures that may be unfamiliar to the attorney and essential to the case. Many begin the transition from clinical nursing to the medical-legal arena by working part-time as a consultant, first for one attorney and then, through referrals, for others.


Legal Nurses – Providing Expertise in the Courtroom


For perhaps twenty years, the LNC has been a formal professional specialization.  Legal nurse consultants work for insurance companies, for government agencies, for attorneys who specialize in personal injury, workman’s compensation or risk management – and many of them are self employed.  In 1989 the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC) was founded as a non-profit to provide an organization center for the industry, try to create some standardization and provide legitimacy. 


Ten years later they convinced the American Board of Nursing Specialties to recognize their niche as a true profession.  The ABA still prefers to look upon LNCs as paralegals, although they have recognized the fact in their 2003 paralegal certification guidelines that the profession has established a number of certification procedures.  By recognizing the credibility of the LNC profession’s self-policing efforts, the ABA has taken a large step towards recognizing their status without formally doing so.

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