Online Graduate Degree Program in Legal Nurse Consulting
Legal nurse consulting (LNC) is a niche field in which experienced registered nurses (RNs) draw upon medical expertise to provide consultation on healthcare-related legal cases. Though there is no graduate degree in the field, LNCs can pursue a graduate certificate in legal nurse consulting. The legal nurse consulting graduate certificate provides RNs with legal principles and theories needed to research and interpret healthcare-related legal documents.
Online Legal Nurse Consulting Certificate Program Overviews
Legal nurse consulting incorporates healthcare theories and knowledge with the practice of law. An online graduate certificate program in this field emphasizes the philosophical, ethical and theoretical law practices as related to the healthcare field, and typically culminates in a mentorship. Online curriculum follows the same syllabus as a campus-based program; however, classes are delivered through flexible online course management tools. Students must meet basic computer equipment and Internet connectivity requirements to access lectures, presentations, assignments and supplemental resources.
This online graduate certificate program focuses on the practices and principles of conducting legal nursing research, along with the interpretation of legal documents and common issues in a medical setting. The curriculum may include the following classes:
- Legal nurse consultant introduction
- Personal injury law
- Healthcare ethics
- Medical research
- Civil practice
Upon completion of a graduate-level program, certificate holders are qualified to take a certification exam offered by the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC) to become legal nurse consultant certified (LNCC); however, this certification isn't required to work in the field. To be eligible for certification, graduates must possess current RN licensure and have five years of RN experience along with 2,000 hours of LNC experience.
Legal nurse consultants are eligible for positions in hospitals, government agencies, law firms and insurance companies. They may also be self-employed and work as independent contractors for law firms and insurance companies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), career opportunities for RNs, including legal nurse consultants, are expected to be excellent for the 2008-2018 period, with jobs growing in the nursing field much faster than average. Wage compensation for legal nurse consultants varies greatly depending experience and position according to the AALNC (www.aalnc.org).
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