Legal Nurse

Winter 2019


Fall, Winter, Spring

Degrees and Certificates

Program Website:

View the program website

Tuition and Fees

Additional Costs

Supplies and Equipment$100

Program Description

The primary role of the legal nurse consultant is to evaluate, analyze, and render informed opinions on the delivery of health care and the resulting outcomes. The legal nurse consultant practices this nursing specialty in a variety of settings, including law offices, government offices, insurance companies, risk management, or as a self-employed practitioner. The nurse serves as a liaison between the legal and health care communities. This regionally respected ABA approved program is typically awarded upon completion of 62-67 credits of required course work (depending on math requirements).

Note: A legal nurse graduate does not receive a license to practice law; thus performing legal work directly for the public or giving legal advice directly to the public constitutes the unauthorized practice of law.

Program Requirements: To enter the Legal Nurse Certificate program, students must have completed an AAS degree in nursing, and possess a current state license and at least two years’ nursing experience with no more than one year since last employed in the field. Substitutions for prerequisites and program courses may be made and/or waived by the program coordinator.

Certificate Requirements: The certificate requires 10 credits of general education courses and 20 credits of basic law courses, plus 8 credits of LA 245, 24 credits of legal specialty courses and 5 credits of other courses if the student does not select from the math options portion of the general education courses. Students with at least one or more years of current legal experience under the direct supervision of an attorney may, with the approval of the program coordinator, have a part of LA 245 waived and instead substitute an equal number of additional legal specialty courses credits.

Students should begin early to meet the prerequisites for LA 120 which are LSEC 239 and a college-level computer course recommended to be selected from the BT, CIS or LSEC departments’ offerings. A grade of 2.0 or higher in each class (including prerequisites) is required for this certificate.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Interview witnesses and parties pertinent to health care issues in collaboration with legal professionals.
  2. Review, summarize and analyze medical records and other pertinent health care and legal documents.
  3. Assess issue of damages and causation relative to liability within the legal process.
  4. Research and integrate health care literature as it relates to the health care facts and issues of a case or a claim.
  5. Develop collaborative case strategies with those practicing within the legal system.
  6. Facilitate communication with legal professionals for successful resolution between parties involving health care-related legal issues.
  7. Assist with discovery, depositions, trial, and other legal proceedings.
  8. Draft pleadings and other legal documentation in health related cases under supervision of an attorney.
  9. Identify, locate, evaluate and confer with expert witnesses.
  10. Develop an understanding of the rules of professional and ethical conduct, competence, professionalism and client service.

Career Opportunities

The consultant may work in areas such as personal injury forensics, product liability, medical and nursing malpractice, workers’ compensation, toxic torts, risk management, professional licensure investigation, insurance case management and criminal law. Pay ranges are from $20 per hour and up depending on responsibilities, experience, and skills.

Certificate - SCC

Offered at Locations:  Spokane Community College
Basic Courses 20
General Education Courses 5
Other Courses 0-5
Social Science or Humanities Course  15
Specialty Courses 24
Supervised Legal Work Experience 8
62-67 credits are required for the Certificate

Basic Courses 

LA   100Legal Careers Orientation 1
LA   102Introduction to Legal Nursing 1
LA   105Washington and Idaho Court Rules 3
LA   110Legal Research and Writing 25
LA   118Instrument Drafting 3
LA   120Law Office Computing 35
LA   130Legal Ethics 1-3
LA   135Professional Effectiveness 1

General Education Courses 

MATH&141Precalculus I 15

Other Courses 

BUS  104Business Mathematics 45

Specialty Courses 5

BUS  204Introduction to Law 55
LA   218Employment Law 3
LA   219Criminal Law and Procedure 3
LA   220Torts 3
LA   225Trial Preparation and Procedures 3
LA   230Insurance Law 3
LA   240Special Issues Seminar 61-10
LA   285Legal Office Internship 73

Supervised Legal Work Experience 

LA   245Supervised Legal Work Experience 88
1See program coordinator for an additional list of courses.
2Prerequisite is ENG& 101.
3Prerequisites are LSEC 239 and a college-level computer course recommended to be selected from the BT, CIS or LSEC departments' offerings.
4Only needed if the student chooses BUS 104 as his/her math requirement. (Not required if MATH& 141 or higher is chosen for the math requirement.)
5Prerequisites for all Legal Specialty Courses: LA 100, 102, 110.
6Because each course is different, LA 240 may be repeated as frequently as desired and all credits received may be applied toward the 24 specialty credit requirement for degree.
7Maximum of 3 credits of internship may be applied toward this degree.
8Students must complete 8 credits.

Disclaimer: The college cannot guarantee courses will be offered in the quarters indicated. During the period this guide is in circulation, there may be curriculum revisions and program changes. Students are responsible for consulting the appropriate academic unit or adviser for more current and specific information. the information in this guide is subject to change and does not constitute an agreement between the college and the student.