The American College of Legal Nurse Consulting offers comprehensive, quality, certification and fellowship programs for qualified professional nurses practicing the specialty of Legal Nurse Consulting. The ACLNC offers a two-tier legal nurse consulting certification program that begins with Certification of Legal Nurse Consultants and offers advancement to Fellowship status in the College.
The objectives of the ACLNC are:
- Provide high quality programs for legal nurse consulting certification and fellowship for professional nurses who are practicing legal nurse consulting.
- Develop and support high standards of education and practice requirements for the attainment of legal nurse consulting certification and fellowship status.
- Provide a mechanism for the ongoing involvement of a peer advisory board of qualified legal nurse consultants and legal professionals to oversee program development and requirements for certification and fellowship in the ACLNC.
- Provide society with a mechanism to ascertain the appropriate education, skills, knowledge, and experience required by nurse consultants who offer such services.
- Establish quality standards and requirements for the re-certification and re-fellowship of credentialed members, attesting to ongoing education and skill attainment in the practice specialty.
- Provide a comprehensive program of approvals for continuing education, seminars, offerings, independent study, and other related educational activities, to ensure high quality standards are met and that such programs are of value to professionals.
The American College of Legal Nurse Consulting is an affiliate of the American Institute of Healthcare Professionals, Inc. The American College of Legal Nurse Consulting is NOT affiliated with nor endorsed by any other organizations that are currently offering legal nurse consulting certification programs. The designations of LNC-CSp. and FACLNC are unique designations for credentials that are offered only by the American College of Legal Nurse Consulting. Certified members of the American College of Legal Nurse Consulting are not permitted to use any other type of certification marks or credentials pertaining to the certification granted by the ACLNC.
Legal Nurse Consulting Certification
Courses for Certification:
Certified Legal Nurse Consultant – requires attainment and verification of one of the following certification criteria:
- Completion of an official, established education program to prepare nurses for the practice of Legal Nurse Consulting. Educational programs must have provided a minimum of 90 hours of lecture/study. Candidates for certification must present valid evidence of successful completion of such program.The ACLNC review board will review and approve programs on an individual basis. Once a program is approved, it will be published as “approved” by the ACLNC. To view approved programs, click here.
- Candidates whose education programs have been approved are eligible to apply for certification in Legal Nurse Consulting. Programs must be of a formal type education program of no less than 90 contact hours of education or 6 college-level semester hours of credits. Programs must be specifically structured to teach theory and practice of legal nurse consulting. Paralegal programs or education do NOT apply. Candidates must also hold a current, valid state license to practice as a registered nurse.
Legal Nurse Consulting Certification – Identification & Credentials
Those applicants who become certified by the ACLNC – shall be deemed “Certified Specialist in Legal Nurse Consulting” and may use the initials/credential LNC-CSp to indicate their legal nurse consulting certifications. Any other type of certification marks, designations, or other types of stated certification is prohibited by the ACLNC. Members who are certified by the ACLNC may use LNC-CSp. only as the official certification designation.
We have a dedicated page that provides a quick over-view of our certification process. It will provide you with good information about the process/phases of both the education courses and application for certification. Click here to access information.
Those applicants to Fellowship shall have three years from the date of application for Fellowship to submit their completed project, thesis, or evidence of continuing education hours. If the applicant does not produce such, they will be required to re-apply for consideration of advancement to Fellow. Certified Specialists in Legal Nurse Consulting must maintain their legal nurse consulting certification status with the ACLNC while advancing to Fellowship status.
Certified members may receive re-certification at the expiration of their four-year term by one of the following means:
- Obtaining 50 or more hours of continuing education within the three year period of certification.
- Successfully advancing to Fellowship Status in the ACLNC prior to the expiration of their current certification. Once a certified member achieves Fellowship in the ACLNC, they are required only to reapply for Fellowship status, and continue to maintain their legal nurse consulting certification along with their Fellowship. Click here to review more information regarding re-certification.
Those applicants who have successfully achieved certification or re-certification by the ACLNC will receive a large size official certificate attesting to legal nurse consulting certification, as well as an official letter of notification. The certificate is suitable for framing and details the official professional certification title, initials that may be used, and time frames for certification. Those re-certifying will receive a new, updated certificate.
Standards & Code of Ethics
Once a candidate has been officially certified by the ACLNC, the certified member will receive a handbook detailing a code of ethics for certified Legal Nurse Consultants as well as standards of practice defined and approved by the ACLNC. Click here to view the Code of Ethics.
- The certification fee for Legal Nurse Consultant is $200.00 for the 4-year term of legal nurse consulting certification. Payment in full is due at the time of application. A completed application must be mailed in to the ACLNC with full payment to be considered for certification. The application is available on this website.
- Application for re-certification is $200.00 for the next three year period. This is a one time payment and is required in full at the time of application for re-certification. A completed application must accompany the payment.
- Major credit cards are accepted. Check and money orders are to be payable to: The American Institute of Healthcare Professionals.
Advanced Legal Nurse Consulting Certification Program
The ACLNC offers an Advanced Legal Nurse Consulting Certification program. For information on this program, click here.
The ACLN offers its certified specialists the opportunity to advance to Fellowship in the College. For more information, access here.
Education Programs for Re-certification and Fellowship
Applicants may obtain education hours by completion of any type of formal program or courses related to legal nurse consulting, health care law, legal issues in nursing and health care, nursing and medical practice, and risk management. Such programs include:
- University/College Programs and Courses
- Continuing Education Courses
- Distance Learning Programs
- Self-Study Programs
- Courses offered by Professional Associations
The ACLNC reserves the right to approve all such courses for consideration toward re-certification or fellowship. For any potential legal nurse consulting certification courses to be considered, applicants must submit copies of all certificates of completion or transcripts verifying completion. Applicants who are using their degrees to meet partial fulfillment of the education requirements for certification must have official transcripts submitted directly to the ACLNC from their university or college.
For conversion purposes, 1 semester hour of university/college credit is equal to 15 contact hours of education.
Applications are only accepted at the time that the candidate is ready to submit evidence of the appropriate continuing education hours achieved.
The American College of Legal Nurse Consulting maintains a list of approved courses for advancement to fellowship. This list is updated on a regular basis.
If a certified member desires to take a course, seminar or other type of continuing education program that will apply to their needed hours for fellowship status, then they must request and complete an education approval form. There is no charge to submit a request for an approval of hours toward fellowship.
The completed approval form must be submitted to the administrative office of the ACLNC. If the request is approved, the form is officially signed as approved and returned to the certified member. They will then remit the completed approval form, along with the evidence of course or program completion, at the time of fellowship application.
Courses that are not posted on the website, or do not have a prior approval, may not be accepted at the time of application to fellowship. Only courses directly related to the practice specialty of legal nurse consulting, health care law, medical and nursing malpractice, are generally approved by the College.
At the time of application, the candidate must submit the completed Fellowship application form, and submit evidence of completed education for a minimum of 250 contact hours. Original certificates, transcripts, or other documents must be submitted. Once reviewed, these originals are returned to the candidate.
Once the entire application has been reviewed and approved, the candidate is advanced to Fellowship in the ACLNC.
Full information regarding Advancement to Fellowship, including thesis/project guidelines, will be provided to certified members by request.
What is Certification?
“A certification is a third-party attestation of an individual’s level of knowledge or proficiency in a certain industry or profession. They are granted by authorities in the field, such as professional societies and universities, or by private certificate-granting agencies. Most certifications are time-limited; some expire after a period of time (e.g., the lifetime of a product that required certification for use), while others can be renewed indefinitely as long as certain requirements are met. Renewal usually requires ongoing education to remain up-to-date on advancements in the field, evidenced by earning the specified number of continuing education credits (CECs), or continuing education units (CE’s), from approved professional development courses. “ 1
Certification is an official recognition from a “Professional Organization” that one has met all of the established standards as determined by that professional organization to be conferred the specific “certification” by that professional organization. Certifications are most frequently established and conferred by “professional organizations.” Certification is thus a validation that a professional has thus achieved a high standard of knowledge, learning and skills in a specific specialty area of practice. It attests to an achievement in professional practice that is beyond that achieved for licensure. It is also specialty practice specific, rather than generic in nature.
Certification is distinctly different from ‘licensing.” Licensure is conferred /granted by the Government. In most all cases, licensure is the responsibility of the State Government. Every state has its own government agencies that oversee and confer licensure to professionals, i.e. the state boards of nursing. Licensure is established by “laws” and then specific rules and regulations which conform to the tenets of the state’s laws. Licensure is granted and over-seen by state agencies. Certification, on the other hand, is NOT licensure and is not established by any “laws.” Licensing agencies generally do not “oversee” professional certifications, unless their specific laws mandate a certain professional certification, in order to practice. An example of this would be: for a registered nurse to receive and be conferred a license as a “Nurse Practitioner” most states require that the RN also have Certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. So, in order to be licensed as a nurse practitioner, the nurse must hold certification from one of those two professional organizations. The State Board of Nursing does not oversee the certification, but rather requires it for nurse practitioner license.
Why Achieve a Certification?
“Professional certification shows consumers and potential employers that you are committed to your profession and are well-trained. It gives them confidence in your abilities and knowledge. Certification makes you more valuable to employers, so you can expect to earn more than someone without certification. Certification also offers advancement opportunities.” 2 Other compelling reasons to consider a specialty practice certification include: Acquire advanced knowledge and skills in a sub-specialty health care practice: 1) Achieve national recognition for attainment of knowledge and skills by meeting established standards of professional advanced practice, 2). Enhance and expand your health care practice, 3). Increase your marketability, 4). Be viewed as a credentialed expert in your practice specialty, and 5). Become part of a professional group and network of recognized and certified health care specialists.
Report findings published on Nurse.com revealed the following regarding Nurses that held certifications: 1). Certified nurses make more money, 2). Certified nurses have respect and recognition, 3). Certified nurses have validated competence in their specialty area, 4). Certified nurses are more marketable and hireable, 5). Certified nurses perceive they have more power in their organizations, 6). Certified nurses have more professional opportunities, 7). Certified nurses have standing among their professional peers, and 8). Certified nurses are more confident. 3
While these study finds were specific to the nursing profession, we believe such benefits are applicable to all health care professionals who hold practice specialty certifications, especially related to recognition, opportunities in employment and validated competency in their practices.
A major hallmark of quality Certification programs is the mandate that Certified Members commit to continued learning in order to maintain their certifications. This is most generally achieved by requiring a recertification process in which certified member’s document continued learning in their practice specialty by way of continuing education. Certifying bodies will establish quality standards for the requirements for its certified members to achieve contact hours of continuing education credits in order to maintain their certification status by the organization or association. 1, 2
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals upholds this high quality standard for recertification of its members by an established program of recertification via mandatory continuing education as well as clinical practice hours over a four-year time frame. Certified members may recertify their status upon meeting the standards established for recertification of their practice specialties.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_certification October 2018. Page 1.
- https://www.collegetransfer.net/AskCT/WhatisProfessionalCertification/ October 2018
- https://www.nurse.com/blog/2018/03/14/enjoy-the-perks-of-nurse-certification/ October 2018