5 Minimum Qualifications for How to Become a Legal Nurse Consultant

The same qualifications you have as an RN, when combined with comprehensive legal nurse consultant certification, are the base for how to become a legal nurse consultant and an indispensable asset to attorneys.

Thank you for the gift of your CLNC Certification Program. You’re giving us a way to use our nursing knowledge and experience in an innovative, productive manner. You’re helping to instill pride, confidence and professionalism into a profession that sorely needs the boost.

Diana Skrutski

As a registered nurse (RN), you walk the halls of the hospital with a mind always assessing every patient, scrutinizing the electronic medical records and challenging physician’s orders.

RNs get to the essence of what a patient needs quicker than any other provider in healthcare and that’s why attorneys need RNs like you on their medical malpractice and personal injury cases.

It’s a given that to consult with attorneys, you must be confident in your nursing expertise. And it’s important to understand that the more than 1,300,000 attorneys in the U.S. each litigate a variety of cases and therefore have diverse needs.

No matter the attorney or the type of case being litigated, there are five minimum qualifications registered nurses need to become a legal nurse consultant. These five qualifications have nothing to do with years of experience or letters behind your name.

Watch the video above and read below to assess how you stack up.

Articulate Communicator

Communicating effectively is a must in most any profession. For legal nurse consultants reviewing stacks of medical records, the ability to communicate efficiently and effectively is a core requirement for how to become a legal nurse consultant. Attorneys are bottom-line driven and require articulate opinions delivered with brevity. They are crazy busy and do not have time to extract a recommendation from long-winded, meandering reports or verbal opinions. They expect concise and relevant communication.

Detective of Details

The saying goes that the “devil is in the details” and in legal nurse consulting those details can be the difference between winning and losing a case for an attorney. To be an astute detective of the details, legal nurse consultants must stay focused on the essence of the case among a mass of records and information that can easily lead a less trained consultant astray. The ability to ferret out that one tiny “smoking gun” detail that makes the case is a quality that sets successful legal nurse consultants apart.

You’re the only person on the litigation team who’s going to read the entire record. MD experts are known for not thoroughly reading medical records. You’ll discover facts and issues in the records that no one else will pick up on, which is exactly why attorneys need you.

A smart legal nurse consultant detective isn’t afraid to lean on other experts who can bring critical experience to a medical-related case. Knowing what you don’t know and knowing when to get outside help from a CLNC® subcontractor demonstrates effective problem solving.

Objective Evaluator

As a legal nurse consultant, you’re reviewing medical records covering hospital or medical-related situations of which you have first-hand experience and knowledge. So, it’s easy to feel emotionally involved in an incident, but you must check your biases at the door. To provide trusted counsel, you have to be thoroughly objective and candid in your analysis of the case. You never want to be a vigilante for injured plaintiffs nor do you want to be a protector of the overworked, underpaid RN working at the bedside. Objective evaluator is a minimum qualification for becoming a legal nurse consultant.

Bold Advisor

Legal nurse consultants are experts in their field and with that comes the power of conviction in your opinions and recommendations. Attorneys might not like your opinion as it pertains to the outcome of their case, but your job is to tell it like it is. That requires being bold and taking a stand with your opinion. Attorneys will probe and challenge your opinions and that’s their job. But your responsibility as a legal nurse consultant is to be strong in your findings and professional, expert opinion.

Systemized Entrepreneur

As a registered nurse, you interact daily with established hospital protocols for treating patients. As a legal nurse consultant, you must create proficient systems that keep you organized. Creating systems that allow you to competently manage cases with potentially thousands of pages of medical records and communicate with attorney-clients and their litigation team while managing deadlines is a core qualification for becoming a legal nurse consultant.

The attorney expects the same quality work product from one case to the next. Understanding how attorneys think and what they need is essential to systemizing quality work product. This is also why having a CLNC Mentor to guide you after your legal nurse consultant certification training makes a huge difference in your legal nurse consultant start-up.

Becoming a legal nurse consultant pulls together everything you’ve ever learned and everything you’ve ever experienced as an RN.

You already review medical records every day and you already have these top five qualifications. Now all you have to decide is whether legal nurse consulting is how you want to apply your nursing expertise.

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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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