About This Course
“The use of nurses as expert witnesses has evolved since the late 1970’s and early 1980s. Before then, physicians served as nursing’s voice and testified at court regarding the role and accountability of professional nurses.” (Guido, 1997) A nurse is the only professional with the knowledge, competency, credential, and right to judge whether the appropriate standard of nursing care has been delivered. As nurses stepped forth to assume this role in the medical legal system, the system adjusted to incorporate them and actively solicit qualified nursing assistance.
Unfortunately, the healthcare system has experienced an increase in the number of lawsuits. And nurses have stepped forth to expand their professional role within the legal system to educate attorneys, judges, and juries. Nurses are consulting into an expanding area of medical legal concerns such as personal injury, worker’s compensation, product liability, criminal custody cases, risk management, life-care planning, case management, healthcare licensing board issues, insurance industry, as well as expert witness. While many nurses work in law offices, and the insurance industries, nurses are also adopting an entrepreneurial spirit and starting their own businesses.
This exciting program prepares Nurses for a career in the legal field as legal nurse consultants. Building on their medical education and clinical experience, this course provides nursing professionals with fundamental skills necessary to advise law firms, health care providers, insurance companies, and governmental agencies regarding medically-related issues and to appear in court as expert witnesses. The curriculum of this course is designed to comply with the educational guidelines specified by the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants. Successful graduates will be awarded a Certificate of Course Completion from the university through which they are registered.
This seven week, 42 hour course will provide a comprehensive analysis of the principles and practices of legal nurse consulting (LNC), with an emphasis on law and expert witness testimony. The course content will also provide a systematic review for those preparing to take the Legal Nurse Consultant Certified (LNCC) examination. While most of the main subject matter will pertain to legal nursing standards, professionals in other health care disciplines may gain increased skills and knowledge of the medical-legal system to enhance their roles as service providers and functions as expert witnesses, but participants without an RN background might not be able to take the LNCC exam after graduation. For more information about the LNCC exam, please contact the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants at 877-402-2562.
This nursing continuing professional development activity was approved by Colorado Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.
- CLS by BARBRI, is not affiliated with, nor do we endorse, any entity producing, marketing, reselling, or distributing healthcare goods or services consumed by or used on patients.
- There is no conflict of interest for anyone in a position to control content of this activity.
- There is no commercial support or sponsorship being received for this event.
- This activity is approved through December 19, 2025.
- Define the role of a legal nurse consultant and explain history and evolution of the profession.
- Describe 2 major systems of law, the 3 types of law, and the 4 sources of law.
- Review the law of Intentional and Unintentional Torts.
- Identify liability concerns of healthcare providers.
- Analyze the role of the LNC before the trial begins.
- Review the methods of obtaining medical records and other evidence that is governed by the Rules of Evidence.
- Identify and review the legal documents used to obtain evidence.
- Explain informed consent, treatments decisions, and review the liability concerns of health care providers in each.
- Discuss criminal law and complex litigation scenarios.
- Discuss the history of the Specialty of Legal Nurse Consulting.
- Discuss the skills needed for entry into special practice.
- Professionalism and Ethics: discuss the standards of practice and performance expected of an LNC.
- Identify the 5 responsibilities of a LNC in the litigation process.
- Examine the role of the LNC in evaluating Toxic Tort and Criminal Cases.
- The damages stage of litigation: Identify the 4 types of damages available and discuss the factors that determine their application to the case.
- Recall the evaluation steps taken by the LNC in a professional negligence case.
- Identify and discuss the 3 different forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
- Discuss the LNC’s role in the Law Firm.
- Discuss the issues presented to LNCs in the insurance industry.
- Discuss the issues presented to LNCs in private practice areas.
- Discuss the issues presented to LNCs in Government Service.
- Discuss the issues presented to LNCs in Risk Management.
- Medical record analysis: discuss the protocol LNCs should follow when receiving medical records.
- Legal Writing: Review the writing techniques that will captivate your target audience.
- Discuss the literature research process and the methods of research.
- Discuss the advantages and challenges of working as an independent LNC.
Expectations & Completion requirements
Students must attend at least 80% of the course, pass every assignment with a 70% or better and complete the course evaluation at the conclusion of the course. This is an accelerated course. You will be expected to spend an average of about 10 hours per week reading and completing assignments. Please note that extensions will not be granted for this course. This course is the equivalent of 42 clock hours of study. 70% is the minimum passing score on all tests and assignments for this course.
Course Goals Include
- Increase knowledge of legal terminology, medical malpractice, and the evolving legal system.
- Demonstrate the knowledge of professional skills necessary to enhance one’s medical legal consulting role.
- Identify new arenas for expanding one’s interests and skills for professional mobility and growth.
- Consider and contrast working as a full-time, part-time, or freelance legal nurse consultant.
Required textbooks for this course:
- Legal Nurse Consulting: Principles and Practices, 4th edition, edited by Julie Dickinson and Anne Meyer (2020). New York: CRC Press.
Highly Recommended Legal Resources:
- Oran’s Dictionary of the Law, 4th Edition, by Daniel Oran. Clifton Park: Delmar Cengage Learning
To order, call CLS by BARBRI at 1-800-522-7737 or Click Here to order online.
Lesson One: Ethics, Standards of Care, and the Profession of Legal Nurse Consulting
- Read Chapters 1, 2, 29, 30 & 31
Lesson Two: Introduction to the Law, Informed Consent and Medical Treatment Decisions
- Read Chapters 3, 4, 5, 19 & 20
Lesson Three: Medical Records and the role of the LNC in Defense Medical Examinations
- Read Chapters 6, 7, 8, 9, 33, 34, & 35
Lesson Four: Case Analysis and Negligence
- Read Chapters 10, 11, 15 & 18
Lesson Five: The Role of the LNC in the Civil and Criminal Litigation
- Read Chapters 32, 36, 37, 38, & 39
Lesson Six: Toxic Torts, End of Life Issues and the Role of LNC as Life Care Planner
- Read Chapters 12, 13, 14, 23
Lesson Seven: Course Wrap-Up and Legal Nurse Consultant Practice Areas
- Optional Reading: Read Chapters 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, & 28
For each lesson you will submit a 100-point exam covering the topics in that lesson’s reading. These exams are due before 8:00 p.m. each Tuesday. They are open-book, open-note and are not timed.
Bulletin Board Assignments:
For each lesson you will also submit your responses to a reflection assignment. These assignments are referred to as Bulletin Board Submissions and will be submitted by either selecting Bulletin Board Submission from within the lesson material, or by selecting ‘Forums’ under Activities in the course.
All weekly objectives, assignments, and tests can be found in the Lesson Materials.
Your grade will be based on your completion of six tests and six Bulletin Board Submissions. The tests can be accessed from within the lesson material, or by selecting ‘Assignments’ under Activities. Throughout the course, you will use the Bulletin Board tool to respond to reflection assignments which will enhance your understanding of the reading material.
Your final grade will be figured as follows:
- The six exams are 100 points each and comprise 80% of your grade.
- The six bulletin board assignments are 10 points each and comprise 20% of your grade.
NOTE: Students must receive a 70% or better on every assignment to receive a certificate.
Students may drop the course with a full tuition refund less a non-refundable $50 administrative fee if written notice is sent to CLS by email at [email protected] by the Wednesday before class begins. Students may drop the course with a 50% tuition refund if written notice is sent to CLS by email at [email protected] anytime from the Thursday before the course begins until the first Thursday of class. After the first Thursday of class, no refunds will be issued.
Please NOTE: If you registered for a CLS course directly with the college or university, you are subject to the school’s refund/drop policies.