The first thing that you need to think about when you are looking at getting started with the position of being a legal nurse consultant is to figure out what kind of opportunities the career offers. The function of a legal nurse consultant is one that has a lot of responsibility, and you should be ready for it. In the first place, a legal nurse consultant is someone who is a registered nurse who combines the medical skills of that profession with legal training that allows them to consult on medically related issues. Not only should a legal nurse consultant have clinical experience, it is generally preferred that the experience be in a high-risk arena like an intensive care unit, a surgical unit, or an emergency department. Another field that legal nurses often find themselves involved in is as a certified sexual assault nurse examiner. You will find that this requires the participant to complete a certificate program that will let them learn the information that is necessary for them to become a legal nurse.
What kind of jobs and what kind of salary are going to be open to legal nurse consultants? In the first place, for a legal nurse consultant who has a fair amount of experience, the pay can range between $100 and $150 per hour depending on who they work for. If this is a job that you care to pursue, you'll discover that you can readily find jobs in the hospitals, in law firms and with insurance companies. If you happen to work at a large hospital, you'll find that you might also work with claims managers or with risk managers at your work place.
Your duties as a legal nurse consultant will include things like evaluating incidents and figuring out what is going on in the resulting complaints and lawsuits. If you happen to work for a private law practice, it will be your job to fill in the gaps of the practicing attorney's knowledge about the law. You may find that you are called upon to help out with research or you may also find that you are going to be concerned with writing up reports or summaries. You might also talk about preparing witnesses and giving testimony for it. If you happen to work for an insurance company, you might find that you need to evaluate medical malpractice and personal injury claims.
There are many different advantages to working as a legal nurse consultant. In the first place, you will find that when you work as a consultant who operates as a freelancer, you are going to be able to make upwards of $100 to $150 an hour. Your salary might even be higher if you have the expertise and the desire to do things like deposition preparation and court testimony. Also keep in mind that many legal nurse consultants will charge hospitals less than they will charge private legal practice. Keep in mind that the best money per hour is made when you are freelancing, though the hours do tend to be less reliable. If you work for a recognized organization, your salary might end up being, on average, $80,000 per year. Also keep in mind that when you are looking at getting steady employment that you will also get retirement benefits and health insurance.
Take some time and make sure that you consider what your life and your salary would be like if you were a legal nurse consultant. This may be the position that you have been looking for!
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