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Online Legal Nurse Degrees

What Is a Legal Nurse?

A legal nurse forms a bridge between the medical and legal communities by having an understanding of both. They can therefore assist attorneys in medical malpractice and personal injury cases by deciphering the medical records or terminology used. They can also interview patients and witnesses, determine damages and costs, locate evidence, and help to educate lawyers on health care issues. A legal nurse can also advise insurance companies, government agencies, private corporations, and hospitals.

What Training or Degree Does a Legal Nurse Need?

You must be a practicing registered nurse, generally for at least 5 years, before you can specialize as a legal nurse. Therefore you must first obtain a nursing degree from an accredited program.

According to the American Nurse Legal Consultant Certification Board, you must also provide evidence of 2,000 hours of legal nurse consulting experience over a three-year period before you can take the certification exam.

In order for your activities to qualify for those 2,000 hours, they must:

•    Be performed at the request of a client (law firm, insurance company, hospital, etc.)
•    Relate to claims or cases in which the education and experience of an RN are necessary
•    Must be considered billable hours

Examples of activities that can be considered part of your training include:

•    Assessing issues of liability, causation, or damages
•    Identifying, evaluating, or conferring with experts
•    Drafting documents for an attorney
•    Testifying at depositions or trials

Career Outlook and Salary Ranges

Job opportunities are excellent, and legal nurses generally charge between $100-$150 an hour for their consulting services.

Legal Nurse Schools

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