As a Legal Nurse Consultant, you will have three options when comes to deciding how you will work. Your salary is determined by the option you choose.
In-House Legal Nurses typically earn an hourly pay of $20-$60 per hour.
But, expect the lower end of that range.
As a Legal Nurse Consultant, you will have three options when comes to deciding how you will work. Your first option is to find a full or part time job. This type of Legal Nurse is called an In-House or Staff Legal Nurse Consultant. In-house Legal Nurse Consultants cannot be expert witnesses. It would be a conflict of interest because they cannot be unbiased in their opinion on the stand, due to a possible fear of losing their job. It may not be a real fear, but the opposing attorney would certainly paint a lovely picture for the jurors. They may be able to assist in interviewing experts, but independent nurses more often network and can locate those experts. In this type of Legal Nurse Consulting, you can can earn an hourly pay of $20-$60 per hour. But, you may also expect extra benefits that are offered with the job. The pay and benefits for this option would likely be similar to comparable autonomous nursing positions in your region.
Independently practicing Advanced Legal Nurse Consultants typically earn $125-$200 per hour.
Earn $300-$500 per hour when testifying as an expert.
Your second career option is to start your own practice where you would work on a consulting basis. Most nurses prefer this route because they no longer want to work for anyone else. The other main benefit is the difference in pay. While an In-house Legal Nurse can expect to earn $20-$60 per hour, an independently practicing Advanced Legal Nurse Consultant (ALNC) can earn $125-$200 per hour. As an independent Legal Nurse Consultant, you can choose whether or not to accept a case. After reviewing a record, you can take a side. If it happens to not be the side of the attorney who hired you to review the case for merit, you will discuss with him or her our thoughts. At that point it will be decided whether or not you should proceed with the case from a data extraction perspective. Independent Legal Nurse Consultants can act as expert witnesses during a trial because they are not employed by their client. On average, you can earn $300-$500 per hour when acting as an expert witness.
Subcontractors typically earn 30-70% of the Independent Legal Nurse's income on a single case.
The actual amount is decided by the Independent Legal Nurse.
Your third option is to subcontract for other Legal Nurse Consultants. In this option, you will work with other Legal Nurse Consultants or other types of nurses that have hired you to work their cases. You will probably make part of their fee on the case when you do the work for them. Subcontractors can make more money than In-house Legal Nurse Consultants, but less than independently practicing Legal Nurse Consultants who work directly with attorneys. You would have to rely on other Legal Nurses to secure work for you. Therefore, your work load will not be as regular as you may want.
You can chose one of these career options or any combination of the three. Many Legal Nurse Consultants successfully work independently with attorneys and subcontract with other Legal Nurse Consultants on the side.
Decide which direction you would like to pursue in your Legal Nurse Consulting career. Do you feel that you have the drive and motivation to pursue new cases to work on, or would you rather work a job where they tell you what cases to do and how to do them? Most nurses chose to start their own practice and work independently. However, the choice if yours. Since the idea of better income with freedom and flexibility is appealing to nurses, most choose to start their own practice.