The job of a legal nurse consultant is truly unique in the medical field. If you are very interested in becoming a nurse but would rather work on the legal side than in a hospital, this job could be perfect for you.
Today’s article will tell you everything you need to know about the job of a legal nurse and how you can become one.
What’s a legal nurse consultant?
A legal nurse consultant is an expert and registered nurse who provides consultation on medico-legal cases. They help lawyers read medical records and understand the terminology used in the official medical documents.
Being a legal nurse consultant is much different from the role of the paralegal, as the legal nurse consultant offers advice on medical issues only, not the law-related problems, and as a legal nurse consultant, you don’t need to have a legal education.
In this line of work, you are required to have broad medical knowledge as well as basic legal knowledge, as you will assist legal cases. Keep reading and find out what you need to do to become a legal nurse consultant and what are the average salaries in the EU.
How to become a legal nurse consultant?
To become a legal nurse consultant, you need to become a registered nurse. The education credentials differ in each country, and it is best to check individually for the area you wish to work in.
Usually, you will need a university nursing degree, and if you’re not entirely sure about attending a university, you can complete an RDNA (Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship). This could be a great opportunity if you want to experience the job simultaneously while you study.
When you start your studies, there will come a time to choose a field in which you will specialise. Most often the choice for a legal nurse consultant is to specialise in adult nursing, but you can choose more than one speciality, as it will allow you to provide expertise on different cases.
After finishing your studies, you need to become a registered nurse, which you will do by registering with the Nursing and Midwife Council. In order to register, you will be asked to pay a certain fee. After the registration, you will be qualified to work as a nurse and find a job in the field.
To become a legal nurse consultant, you will need to have some work experience as well as legal skills, which are crucial if you want to get a job in this position. Remember, the more you invest in your knowledge and your skills, the more likely it is for you to find a job in this field.
Related: How to become a Lead Nurse.
What are the duties of a legal nurse consultant?
The duties of a legal nurse consultant are primarily working alongside lawyers and providing them with medical knowledge they lack. You will also analyse and summarise medical records, research medical topics, identify potential medical malpractices, as well as evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of medical cases.
It is crucial for a legal nurse consultant to be communicative and to be able to explain medical terms to the attorneys and their clients.
How much do legal nurse consultants make in the EU?
There are many factors that determine the salary of a legal nurse consultant. For example, the field you will work in, as well as the country of your choice and of course your level of experience.
The salaries in the EU differ from country to country. In the UK, you can expect an average of EUR 72,652 per year, while in Germany the average is EUR 49,683.
Switzerland is one of the highest paying countries in the EU, so there you can expect an average of EUR 74,881 per year.
Keep in mind that there are estimated averages, and the aforementioned factors will play a key role in your future salary.
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Where do legal nurse consultants work?
Medical facilities have a high demand for legal work, so there are many possible options for employment. The most often choices for legal nurse consultants are healthcare facilities like hospitals and clinics, as well as care centres.
Those are not the only possible options, as the health insurance companies often need medical advisors, as well as attorneys and forensic departments.
If this job isn’t really for you, check out this article: Licensed Vocational Nurse.
The medical expertise of legal nurse consultants is in high demand, and it is anticipated to grow even more. There are approximately 15 000 medical malpractice lawsuits every year, which justifies the high demand.
There are a few key qualities that are crucial to being a quality legal nurse consultant. First and foremost, your credentials need to be strong and you need to be able to show that you truly invested in your knowledge.
The other important factors that make a good legal nurse consultant are honesty, objectivity, good communication skills, and flexibility. You need to be able to speak from a jury’s point of view and give opinions based on the nursing profession, not your own opinion.
Having a broad knowledge and experience while constantly improving your skills will make you a true professional.