Legal Nurse Careers Salary Outlook
The following article discusses the critical role Legal Nursing play in the community including what they do, tasks performed, work environment, qualifications to become, area of focus, training certification, education requirements, job outlook, salary, related job titles and salary by state data.
What We Do
Legal nurses work with people in legal departments, such as lawyers and police officers, as medical consultants and information sources during cases. They might work within the court system as a medical expert for specific trials, or they may act as a knowledge source for other legal representatives who are trying to determine the cause of death or way that a criminal act was carried out. Legal nurses also work with insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies for consultation on charts and records of patients who need medication or who are making medical claims. This level of nursing determines a strong background in medical terminology, reading charts, and understanding patient records.
Top 5 Tasks Performed
Legal nurses perform many different tasks including research on medical records and backgrounds, informing legal personnel of regulations and policies regarding medical practice, testifying as an expert witness in a case that requires medical knowledge, acting as a consult for insurance companies for claim filing, and educating legal professionals on terminology and other medical information that is required in a case.
Legal nurses work in a variety of settings, including court rooms, law offices, insurance companies, and also traditional hospital settings. Some legal nurses work with medical management personnel in hospitals and other care facilities to determine necessary care and action to take during sensitive cases.
How to Become
Legal nursing doesn t necessarily require any specific education or certification past the registered nurse level, but nurses who wish to act as legal consultants do require additional licensing. To become a legal nurse, one must complete an Associate degree or Bachelor of Science in nursing degree and pass the NCLEX-RN examination required of all RNs across the country; following this, nurses who wish to become involved as a consultant require an addition 5 years of nursing experience, 2 of which must be in a legal nursing setting. Then they must be certified through the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board or ALNCCB.
The job outlook for legal nurses show a possible growth of 21% which is much higher than the average predicted growth of most professions across the U.S. The average growth for the average registered nurse is predicted at 19%, meaning that legal nurses may have the upper hand in finding positions and gaining a competitive salary above other traditional medical fields.
Legal nurses must pass the NCLEX-RN certification exam required for all nurses in the country, as well as an additional 5 years of practical training, 2 of which are in the field of legal nursing. Extra certification can be sought through the ALNCCB.