Independent Contractor - Legal Nurse Consultant
It is fairly common for legal nurse consultants to begin their careers working as independent contractors. Typically, they will do consulting on the side while still working as full-time nurses. When the business grows enough to support them, most quit working for their employers to become full-time LNCs. People that do this must be careful, however, to avoid working on cases that involve their employers because this could cause a conflict of interest and legal repercussions.
There are many benefits to working as an independent contractor. In addition to being able to design their own schedules, LNCs typically work fewer hours than they did in their clinical practices. They also have the freedom to pick and choose the cases they would like to work on. However, not everyone will be successful with this business format. Working as an independent contractor is best for people that are self-motivated, assertive, can work independently and without supervision, and who has the patience and perseverance required to build a business.
The amount of money an LNC can make as an independent contractor varies. Usually, they charge their clients hourly rates ranging from as little as $60 per hour to $250. The amount depends on many factors including the average rate paid in the local market, the experience of the LNC, and the company he or she is working for. Whatever amount they charge, the LNC must earn enough to pay for business expenses, insurance, retirement savings, and other costs. They are also responsible for filing their taxes.
Although self-employed LNCs do a fair amount of consulting, they also spend time on non-billable tasks such as bookkeeping, marketing, billing and collections, and sometimes supervising other employees. This must be considered when thinking about starting a legal nurse consulting business.
The Places and Areas Legal Nurse Consultants Practice
Legal nurse consultants practice in a number of areas. Most work on professional negligence or personal injury cases such as medical malpractice or auto accidents. Other areas where LNCs can be found include risk management, Medicare, Product Liability, Toxic Tort, Workers’ Compensation, and Case Management. The majority of LNCs work as independent contractors that provide consulting services to a variety of companies like law offices and insurance providers. Some are employees that are hired into positions that make use of their unique skills and knowledge. You will find these LNCs working for government agencies, hospitals, and health insurance companies.