Both legal nurse consultants and nurse paralegals are nursing professionals who use their medical expertise to assist in legal matters. A legal nurse consultant (LNC) is often hired as an independent contractor to consult on specific medically-related cases, while nurse paralegals may be hired full-time because they are trained to perform all aspects of paralegal work in addition to providing expert medical knowledge.
Nurse Paralegal Schools
The table below shows additional information for nurse paralegal programs.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degree Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)|
|Duke University||Raleigh, NC||4-year, Private||Certificate||$2495*|
|University of Houston||Houston, TX||4-year, Public||Certificate||$895*|
|University of Rochester||Rochester, NY||4-year, Private||Certificate||$8,400*|
|Widener University||Harrisonburg, PA||4-year, Private||Certificate||$11,100*|
|University of Central Florida||Orlando, FL||4-year, Public||Certificate||$1,199, $1,099 for alumni*|
|Florida International University||Miami, FL||4-year, Public||Certificate||$100*|
|Kent State University||Kent, OH||4-year, Public||Certificate||$10,012 in state, $18,212 out of state**|
|University of California at Riverside||Riverside, CA||4-year, Public||Certificate||$3,500*|
Source: *School websites; **National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Below are considerations when choosing a nurse paralegal or legal nurse consultant school:
- Determine what type of certification is most desirable for your needs.
- Look for schools that have connections to the medical and the legal field, including professors who have medical and/or legal experience.
- Some programs include an internship or practicum, where students work as paralegals in a supervised, professional setting.
- Certification through the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC) or the American Society of Legal Nurse Consultants (ASLNC) demonstrates competence in your field, so look for programs that meet their requirements.
Nurse Paralegal Certificate Program
Many nurse paralegal certificate programs are offered online. Programs may consist of 25-35 credit hours, with concentrations in health care law and medical insurance law.
Legal Nurse Consultant Certificate Program
Because an LNC certificate program may be the same length as a nurse paralegal certificate program, students should consider their career goals before they enroll. Some LNC programs offer mentorships during which students experience a variety of nurse consultant settings.
Nurse paralegals obtain additional training through nurse paralegal certificate programs or legal nurse consultant certificate programs. Mentorships and internships are common components to these certification courses.