The CLNC® Pros Share 7 Common Myths about Legal Nurse Consulting

I’ve asked four legal nurse consultants to discuss the most common myths RNs have about the specialty practice of legal nurse consulting.

  1. Myth: Any nurse can consult with attorneys without CLNC Certification.
    Legal nurse consulting is a specialty. As with other nursing specialties, certification is an indication that the individual has obtained an advanced level of expertise. CLNC Certification not only provides the education necessary to enable the Certified Legal Nurse Consultant to practice in a safe and effective manner, it also denotes advanced expertise to prospective attorney-clients. Working as a legal nurse consultant without advanced certification is similar to being responsible for direct patient care in a specialty area in which you have no experience. It’s dangerous.

– Jane Hurst, RN, CLNC

  1. Myth: The attorney market for Certified Legal Nurse Consultants is saturated.
    With the increased numbers of CLNC consultants I have seen more of a need because attorneys today know that working with a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant is a benefit. With plenty of work to go around for all of us, the more Certified Legal Nurse Consultants there are, the more attorneys hear about us and the more it justifies our profession.

– Dorene Goldstein, RN, BSN, CLNC

  1. Myth: I will be going against my nursing colleagues as a CLNC consultant.
    When screening medical malpractice cases, the majority of the time I advise the plaintiff attorney that there is no negligence. It feels good to be able to support my nursing profession when the standards of care are met. If I discover nursing negligence, I objectively educate the attorney about the nursing deviations from the standards of care.

    – Dorene Goldstein, RN, BSN, CLNC

    Legal nurse consulting neither favors nor betrays the nursing and medical professions because CLNC consultants don’t take sides. The legal nurse consulting specialty seeks the truth. Our focus is to identify whether the healthcare providers adhered to the recognized standards of care. In more cases than not, the analysis of the records indicates that the medical professional did not deviate from the standards of care.

– Jane Hurst, RN, CLNC

  1. Myth: Attorneys can review the medical records themselves.
    Attorneys know the law and Certified Legal Nurse Consultants know nursing and medicine. A recent case illustrates why one of my attorney-clients said, “I couldn’t do this without you.” His case involved competency issues in a dying man who had signed a land deed over to his new wife. After navigating through a lengthy hospital stay with multiple pages of electronic medical records, I discovered that the attorney was never given the medication records and advised him to obtain them. Once I received the medication records, I identified that the patient had been on a morphine drip while signing the deed. My attorney-client was then able to use that fact to prove that the man was incompetent to sign the document.

– Dorene Goldstein, RN, BSN, CLNC

  1. Myth: To be a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant you must be willing to testify.
    When RNs hear I’m a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, the first assumption they often make is that I’m only a testifying expert (TE). That could not be further from the truth. CLNC consultants can also choose to work behind the scenes as a consulting expert (CE). The majority of my legal nurse consulting business involves providing 30 CLNC services as a CE consulting on a variety of medical malpractice and personal injury cases.

– Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, PHN, CLNC

  1. Myth: Most Certified Legal Nurse Consultants work in-house for law firms.
    Some of the larger firms do hire Certified Legal Nurse Consultants as in-house employees, but most CLNC consultants work with attorneys and insurance companies as independent consultants. They create their own schedule, charge fees of $125-150/hr and can consult as much or as little as they choose.

– Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, PHN, CLNC

  1. Myth: Certified Legal Nurse Consultants only consult with attorneys.
    Many people think that becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant is only useful if you want to work as an independent consultant, but it also opens doors to other types of consulting work. The focus in healthcare is no longer on the volume of patients treated, but on the quality of care provided. Numerous companies are offering consulting services to help hospitals with this adjustment and nurse consultants are in high demand. CLNC Certification gives you the skills to understand the compliance issues and provide high quality professional consulting services in a variety of healthcare settings.

– Susan Schaab, RN, BSN, CLNC

Thanks to the CLNC Pros for dispelling the seven most common myths about legal nurse consulting.

Success Is Yours!

P.S. Comment and share any myths you’ve busted about legal nurse consulting.

One thought on “The CLNC® Pros Share 7 Common Myths about Legal Nurse Consulting

  1. I just completed a declaration for the plaintiff’s attorney. Nurse Anesthetist deviated from standards as an RN. Defense had anesthesiologist as expert. Issue wasn’t with anesthetic – it was with nursing care. 38 BPs on lymph node dissection arm in breast cancer patient causing de novo Lymphedema. Attorney specifically asked to add in my declaration that I was a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant and that I was educated in causation and damages. And he asked me to cite Vickie’s Core Curriculum for Legal Nurse Consulting® chapter and pages in my declaration. I think CLNC® Certification is vital for credibility.

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*The opinions and statements made by Vickie Milazzo, the founder of Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, Inc. are based on her experiences and expertise, should not be applied beyond the specific context provided, and do not guaranty or project actual results. Vickie Milazzo is no longer involved in the operations or management of the business, but is involved as an independent education consultant.

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