Hi and welcome to today’s read on Legal Nurse Consultant Certification.
In this article, we want to answer one fundamental question: how to become a Legal Nurse Consultant?
When done with this piece, you’ll know the steps it takes to become an LNC and the skills you need to succeed in this career.
In a nutshell, we’ll talk about:
Without further ado, let’s jump straight into it.
Steps to Become a Legal Nurse Consultant
To become a Legal Nurse Consultant, one must first become a Registered Nurse.
So, here is a step-by-step process of becoming an RN and transitioning to LNC.
Step 1: Earn a BSN Degree
The first requirement is to enroll in an accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree, although some RNs pursue an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN).
The Nursing Program must be accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
The education requirement for an undergraduate Accredited Program varies, but you’ll most likely be required to have a high school Diploma.
You’ll submit your transcripts, recommendation letters, and a personal statement.
Additionally, there’s a non-refundable application fee.
Apart from the requirements, you should also consider the mode of learning, online or in-person.
Furthermore, consider if the classes are part-time or full-time.
It goes without saying that you’ll take longer if the course is part-time.
A BSN Program has several courses, including Health Assessment, Nursing Management, Psychosocial Nursing, Family Nursing, Professional Nursing, and Medical and Surgical Care.
Some of the topics covered within these courses include Biochemistry, Kinesiology, Physiology, Anatomy, and Biology.
Moreover, a BSN course has clinical practice sessions requiring Nursing students to complete specific hours of clinical experience.
Step 2: Pass NCLEX-RN Licensure Exam
Once a Nursing student has earned their bachelor’s degree credentials, the next step is to register for the National Council Licensure Examination Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
The NCLEX-RN exam is administered by the National Council of State Board of Nursing (NCSBN).
Passing the NCLEX-RN exam is a requirement to earn the state licensure and practice as an RN.
Once you’ve passed the exam, you’ll apply for the licensure through your state’s Board of Nursing.
Registered Nurses maintain the state licensure every two years through continuing education and professional development programs.
Different states have specific contact hours that RNs must meet to maintain their licensure.
Step 3: Gain Experience as a Registered Nurse
Now that you have a license to practice as an RN in your state, it’s time to step out and get a job.
It’s crucial to work and gain experience as an RN because Legal Nurse Consultants are required to have a solid background in Clinical Nursing since most healthcare legal cases are based on medical malpractice.
So, polish your resume and visit local health care facilities, seeking employment opportunities.
You can also leverage the many online job sites.
Your goal is to get into Healthcare and gain hands-on experience in Nursing, partly because one of the requirements to pursue a Legal Nurse Consultant Certification is experience as an RN.
It will be in your best interest to gain legal training while working as an RN.
This can be through your employer or a Legal Nurse Consultant Program.
A Legal Nurse Consultant training course is optional.
However, it will be to your advantage to learn the nuances of the legal field in a formal Legal Nurse Consultant course.
Step 4: Consider a Legal Nurse Consultant Certification
This is the last stretch of becoming an LNC.
Some Registered Nurses choose to earn certification while others learn on the job.
Both paths are an excellent way to get into a Legal Nurse Consultant Career.
However, certification sets you apart from others.
It signifies that you’ve met the education requirement to become a Legal Professional.
Further, certification gives you a competitive advantage in seeking employment and higher pay.
And so, if you’ve settled for certification, you want to enroll in an accredited and renowned certificate program.
The most popular certifying agency for LNCs is the American Legal Nurse Consultation Certification Board (ALNCCB).
ALNCCB Legal Nurse Consultation Certification Program is the only LNC Certification accredited by the American Board and Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC) and recognized by the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC).
AALNC is a non-profit organization where LNCs can sign up for membership and access a pool of networks from across the country.
AALNC also provides recertification programs, online continuing education, and webinars to promote professional growth among LNCs.
To become Legal Nurse Consultant Certified (LNCC), Registered Nurses must meet the ALNCCB eligibility requirements and pass the certification exam, which includes:
- Active, unrestricted Registered Nurse license
- Not less than five years of experience as an RN
- Not less than 2,000 hours of documented Legal Nurse Consultant work within the last five years
If you’ve met those requirements, the next step is to pass the NCC Exam or meet 60 billable contact hours working with an Attorney and Clients.
The certification is valid for five years.
Within this period, Legal Nurse Consultant Certified must complete 2,000 practice hours, show proof of an active RN license and pass a scored exam or 60 contact hours in a Legal Nurse Consultant work.
Apart from the Legal Nurse Consultant Certified administered by ALNCCB, you can also earn certification from the National Alliance of Certified Legal Nurse Consultants (NACLNC).
NACLNC awards Certified Legal Nurse Consultant (CLNC) Certification.
NACLNC requires candidates to maintain an active RN license and complete a basic CLNC Program to be eligible for the certification exam.
Step 5: Update Your Resume and Apply for Legal Nurse Consultant Jobs
Once you’ve earned the CLNC or LNCC Certification, it’s time to revamp your resume to show your recent qualification.
From there, you can seek employment opportunities with law firms, insurance companies, healthcare facilities, and various settings that need medical professionals with a legal background.
Skills Needed to Be a Legal Nurse Consultant
Apart from the education qualification, skills play a major role in an LNC Career.
And that’s why we thought it wise to share with you the top skills you need to succeed as a Legal Nurse Consultant.
Technical Nursing Knowledge
Legal Nurse Consultants require technical Nursing skills to handle legal cases better.
These legal professionals deal with a wide range of cases, including but not limited to product liability, medical malpractice, personal injury, wrongful deaths, workers’ compensation, and so on.
Hence, Legal Consultant Nurses must be vast with a wide range of Legal Health issues.
LPNs gain this knowledge by working directly with Attorneys and handling medical-related issues.
Communication and Networking Skills
Communication and Networking are an integral part of an LNC Career.
This is because they liaise with Healthcare Providers, the hiring Attorney, and the Legal Team working on a case.
LNCs also act as expert witnesses in court.
Hence, it’s paramount to communicate effectively.
Additionally, networking provides an excellent opportunity for LNCs to advance their careers.
Still, communication skills come in handy when connecting with people and establishing worthwhile relationships that an LNC can leverage in the future.
Research skills are crucial as Legal Nurse Consultants are required to thoroughly review applicable standards of care and authoritative medical literature to identify if there are any deviations.
And so, LNCs should be able to comb through legal documents, identify medical issues, summarize them, and organize their findings.
Attention to detail is crucial, as LNCs are usually required to review different documents.
They review medical records for different cases.
They also strive to identify if there are any missing or incomplete records.
The success or failure of a case relies on how comprehensively the legal team has prepared its case.
For that reason, LNCs must pick any disparities in medical records and any other legal documents.
If you are passionate about legal cases and would love to bridge the gap between Nursing and legal processes, perhaps being a Legal Nurse Consultant is the perfect career for you.
You can start your journey to becoming an RN right away and enroll in a BSN Program.
From there, you’ll take the NCLEX-RN exam to earn your licensure.
You’ll be enrolling in an LNC Certification Program to jumpstart your career in the legal field in no time.
LNCs are problem solvers at heart.
Though they are not at the patient’s bedside, they are helping thousands of people get justice while simultaneously enjoying a more flexible work schedule and an impressive salary.