Registered nurses (RNs) who are looking to explore a new career path.
What You'll Learn
- Review, analyze and interpret medical records and related medical documents and prepare reports succinctly summarizing that information.
- Act as a consultant on health care issues to attorneys in diverse legal settings.
- Identify standard of care issues and relationship to claimed injuries and damages.
- Develop and build a practice as an independent consultant and nursing expert witness.
What You Can Do With This Certificate
Positions are available in insurance companies, hospitals, government agencies, and risk management organizations.
“The medical-legal applications of this program helped me to better serve my patients. The intensive, educational regimen, while balancing classwork, a career and family, ultimately proved to be a rewarding and enriching experience for me that I will use as reference in my future endeavors.”
RN, BSN, LNC
Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center
Chula Vista, CA
Earning the Certificate
Prior to enrolling, please ensure that you meet the following minimum requirements:
- Be a registered nurse (RN) with at least an associates degree
- Have an email address and access to the Internet
Earn California Board of Registered Nursing continuing education credit. UCR Extension is an accredited provider (#11713).
For more information see How to Earn a Certificate
Our certificate programs are designed to be flexible, allowing you the option to take just a few courses or to earn the complete certificate. If choosing to complete the certificate, we recommend you get the most out of your experience by following the suggested completion path below.
The functions of legal nurse consultants, the areas in which they can be qualified to work, the scope and standards of practice, ethics, liability issues, and roles of the legal nurse consultant within the legal system.
Examine, review, analyze, and summarize medical records and related information for the legal environment. Participants learn how to:
- Identify materials needed and different types of medical records
- Organize medical records and analyze how the information they contain relates to liability and damages
- Compare allegations with information obtained from medical records
- Formulate an opinion report
- Understand legal elements of medical negligence and Standards of Practice for problem solving
- Manage tasks related to these activities
Basic principles and techniques of forensic sciences. Topics include the roles and responsibility of collection and preservation of evidence at crime scenes and in the emergency department. The steps involved in the medico-legal investigation of injury and death, beginning at the crime scene and extending through judicial proceedings, are detailed using an extensive collection of slides and case presentations.
Impact of ethics on clinical decision making, treatment choices and a patient's clinical outcome; the effective tools to help manage a variety of clinical situations, conflicts and cases; and life-and-death issues now being encountered in the increasingly complex health care system.
Writing medicolegal reports and related legal documents using case scenarios from actual legal files. Topics include:
- Medical record summary and chronology
- Analysis of plaintiff's injuries and damages
- Expert opinion formation on compliance with standards of car
- Expert declarations
- Plaintiff and expert deposition summaries and indexing
- Preparation of a settlement conference brief
This course explores the foundational underpinnings and structure of the legal system with emphases on civil law and procedure. Study the core concepts of constitutional law as applied primarily to the legislative and judicial branches of state and federal government. Important aspects of tort law, negligence, pleadings and defenses, and the common forms of discovery are covered. Includes a review of the essentials of contract and employment law.
Key business principles for establishing a practice as a legal nurse consultant, including how to formulate a business plan, select a business structure to avoid personal liability, and choose an appropriate site. Topics include:
- Organization of a practice
- Financial issues
- Standards of care
- The role of an expert witness in the legal field.
- Marketing and promotions
The role of the forensic nurse specialist in judicial proceedings is presented along with preparations required for the presentation of testimony. Videotaped courtroom scenarios offer participants an opportunity to hear the testimony of expert witnesses and to critique their effectiveness in influencing the outcomes of judicial proceedings.
“I have been an RN for 40 years, and teaching for UCR Extension for almost 20 years. For me, teaching is the joy of touching new generations of nurses with wit and wisdom. My role is to find something special about each student and help them see how their old job connects to a new, exciting future through education.”
RN & Owner
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