During the 1980’s, the rising importance of health care was reflected by rapid changes in health and safety laws, the growing demand in health-related careers, and in particular, the sharp increase in medical malpractice, products liability, worker’s compensation, nursing liability, personal injury, wrongful death, toxic tort, sexual assault, and criminal defense cases, all of which have led to a surge in medical legal cases and tremendous amounts of medical payouts.
Hence, during this time period, the need for Legal Nurse Consultants (LNCs) arose, and the demand for LNCs has been growing ever since.
A LNC is essentially an experienced Registered Nurse (R.N.), who offers medical expertise and advice to attorneys, paralegals and legal experts in preparing health-related litigation cases. With their consultation, LNCs help to improve the success rate of medical cases.
Some of the duties of a LNC are to “screen cases for merit, assist with discovery; conduct existing literature and medical research; review medical records; identify standards of care; prepare reports and summaries on the extent of injury or illness; create demonstrative evidence; and locate or act as expert witnesses”.
A RN wanting to cross-utilize their expertise, and build a strong legal foundation on their pursuit to becoming a Legal Nurse Consultant, may apply to the online Paralegal degree program offered at William Woods University or contact the St. Louis Missouri Chapter of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants.