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Unlocking the Thrills of Legal Nurse Consulting: Your Journey to Uncover Wound Care Mysteries


By Chenel Trevellini, MSN, RN, CWOCN and Heidi H. Cross, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CWON, CSWS, CDP

Ever wondered what it's like to be a wound legal nurse consultant? Picture yourself delving into hundreds of cases, playing the role of a medical detective for attorneys on both the plaintiff and defense sides. It's a rewarding adventure that brings personal, professional, and financial satisfaction. Think of it as being a sleuth in the medical world, analyzing charts and determining if facilities meet standard of care, particularly in wound care and pressure injury prevention.1

Picture this: Most cases settle, allowing you to send that bill, get paid, and move on to the next intriguing puzzle. However, the journey may involve more than just behind-the-scenes analysis. Depending on your location, you might be called to testify in depositions or trials, facing the challenge of opposing attorneys trying to discredit your expertise. But fear not – resilience is key!

Excited to explore this path? Here are some quick tips to kickstart your journey:

  1. Training and Certification: Surprisingly, you don't need any legal training or certification.2 As a certified wound nurse, your nursing and medical knowledge are your greatest assets. Attorneys seek your medical and nursing expertise, not legal credentials.2 For this reason, several guides on legal nurse consulting recommend at least 5 years of experience as a registered nurse.2
  2. Clinical Expertise: Tailor your skills to the case. Do you have experience in long-term care, acute care, or home care? Having relevant clinical experience is your ticket to becoming a go-to consultant.2
  3. State-specific Requirements: Some states may require active clinical employment for case review, but not all. Being retired doesn't necessarily eliminate you from all cases, so explore opportunities that align with your experience. The attorney will inform you as to whether you qualify.2
  4. Defense or Plaintiff Work: Ideally, try both. Whether you prefer defending facilities or aiding plaintiffs, maintaining objectivity is crucial. If you are on the defense side, be open if you feel that you cannot defend the facility. Let the attorney know where you feel the facility did not meet wound standards of care. And likewise, when you review a plaintiff’s case, be truthful if you feel there is no merit to the lawsuit. Often plaintiff attorneys hire a legal nurse consultant to tell them if the case has merit even before the lawsuit has gone far in the legal process. Be honest about the merits of the case, no matter the side.2
  5. Setting Your Fees: The big question! Fees vary widely. SEAK, Inc, an expert witness training company, conducted a survey in 2021 among nurses, and found that for case review and preparation, fees varied between $80.00 and $400.00 per hour, with an average of $245.00.3 For testifying in court or depositions often increase their fees, with a low of $100 per hour up to a high of $800.00.3 Nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists tended to command higher per hour fees.3 Specialty nurses such as certified wound nurses likely can as well. Some legal nurse consultants require a retainer before beginning work. Starting modestly and gradually increasing as you gain confidence is a savvy approach.2,3
  6. Getting Cases: Building your caseload may seem challenging initially. Networking, mentorship, an online presence, and marketing strategies like letters to attorneys can open doors.1 Quality work speaks volumes, and soon, your expertise will be sought after nationwide.
  7. Prepare for Takeoff: Dust off that CV, explore marketing avenues, decide on your fees and create a fee schedule, and get ready to step into the thrilling realm of legal nurse consulting. Your expertise is in demand,4 and the adventure awaits!


  1. Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society Task Force. In: Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing: Scope and Standards of WOC Practice: An Executive Summary. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2018;45(4):369-387. doi: 10.1097/WON.0000000000000438.
  2. Wilkerson MR, Huckabay LM. Legal Nurse Consulting Principles and Practices (4th ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2018:…
  3. Mangraviti JJ, Wilbur KJ, Donovan NN. 2021 SEAK, Inc. Survey of Expert Witness Fees. Falmouth, MA: SEAK, Inc; 2021:
  4. 2024: Legal Nurse Consultant Jobs Outlook for Career Growth and Salaries. CLNC Certification Institute. Published January 2024.…

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, HMP Global, its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.