Overview of Legal Nurse Consultant Certificate Programs Offered Online
Legal nurse consultants help to connect the fields of medicine and law by analyzing medical evidence and outcomes and interpreting their legal ramifications. They can apply their medical knowledge to provide valuable insights to legal teams or departments in healthcare organizations or to related organizations like insurance providers. Online certificate programs give prospective legal nurse consultants knowledge of legal issues they will encounter along with an overview of the consultant's role and practical skills in areas like analyzing cases and communicating findings.
Many legal nurse consulting certificate programs are designed for RNs and usually require that applicants be registered nurses. Some also require prior professional nursing experience. Other programs are designed at the graduate level and require applicants to hold at least a bachelor's degree. In addition, some online programs cover information and requirements for the optional Legal Nurse Consultant Certified exam.
Legal Nurse Consultant Certificate Requirements
Certificate programs preparing students to become legal nurse consultants may be offered fully online as self-paced programs or as synchronous webinars that students can attend remotely at the same time as students in the on-campus version. The duration of the courses varies; for example, some occur over a period of eight weeks and others are offered as full-day sessions only meeting a few times. Students can expect to enhance their understandings of relevant laws and legal theories and how those apply to the practical tasks legal nurses perform on the job.
Information and Requirements
The structure of online legal nurse certificate programs varies from school to school. Some programs require the completion of about five separate online courses. Other programs are structured as one course containing separate modules. Nurses who complete these programs may be able to count the credit hours towards continuing education requirements.
As they complete their coursework, students may need to fulfill additional requirements, such as interviewing current practitioners and presenting their findings to the class. Some programs require that students construct a portfolio of their accomplishments and professional development during their studies.
Role of Legal Nurse Consultants
Online certificate students usually gain an overview of the roles legal nurse consultants play in bridging the fields of medicine and law. These introductory courses may cover typical tasks of legal nurse consultants, including legal research and reporting. In addition, they may discuss the history of the profession, the settings in which consultants work, how consultants impact risk management within an organization, and business concepts relevant to the field.
Nursing and the Law
The curricula in these certificate programs usually includes one or more courses or modules devoted to legal theory and practice. These courses may analyze cases to prepare nurses on how to assess risks, apply appropriate legal theories, and advocate for patients.
Ethics in Legal Nurse Consulting
These classes may present biomedical ethical issues and how they impact nursing practice. Students learn to analyze ethical dilemmas and consider the philosophical basis behind ethical arguments.
Career Information for Legal Nurse Consultant Certificate Holders
Legal nurse consultants can find employment in a variety of settings. Some work as independent consultants, and others are employed as consultants within law firms or insurance agencies. These professionals can also use their understanding of the linkages between law and medicine to work in other positions as medical analysts or investigators.
In March 2020, legal nurse consultants had a median hourly wage of $48.99, according to Payscale.com. Those with more years of experience tended to earn higher wages, as did consultants working in larger metropolitan areas like New York, NY or St. Louis, MO.
Legal nurse consultants apply medical knowledge to legal issues, and online certificate programs provide training to help them move into this field. Certificate programs cover relevant topics, including legal concepts applicable to nursing, ethical considerations, and the scope of legal nurse consulting duties, and many programs are available fully online.