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Legal Nurse Consulting Program

The Certificate Program in Legal Nurse Consulting is for registered nurses (RN) who are interested in applying their medical skills and expertise to the legal field.  The program's objective is to prepare registered nurses (RN) to perform analysis of health care issues and their related outcomes for the legal profession or other health care organizations. Becoming a Legal Nurse is the perfect way to combine medical knowledge and experience with the legal side. Are you curious about the law and its application to standards of care?  Are you looking for a way to enhance your clinical work or to take your career to a new level?

Classes are taught by professionals currently practicing in their fields of study. An active US RN License is required for admission to this program.

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Curriculum & Course Details

Module Titles

Module 1:
Introduction to Legal Nurse Consulting & LNCs in Risk Management

Module 2: 
Legal Theory and Fundamentals

Module 3:
Case Analysis for Long Term Care and Medical Malpractice

Module 4:
Case Analysis for Personal Injury and Worker’s Compensation

Module 5:
LNC Role in Discovery: 
Trial Preparation (5A) and Forensic Nursing (5B)

Module 6:
Business Principles



There are no courses open for enrollment at this time.

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Admission is discretionary. Duke Continuing Studies-Professional Certificate Programs- requires students be a least 18 years of age and meet minimum suitability standards. Students are not matriculated Duke University students and university student privileges do not apply to Continuing Studies students.

Duke Continuing Studies reserves the exclusive right, at its sole and absolute discretion, to withhold registration or require withdrawal from the program of any student or applicant.

Admissions Criteria

  • Active RN License*
  • A recommended minimum of 2000 hours of work experience as an RN
  • Recognition/aptitude and comfort level in learning to "market/brand" yourself in a consultant role
  • Fluency in English (including reading and writing)
  • Computer literacy, internet access, and valid email account required
  • Payment of tuition in advance of program start (except in a case where a loan payment may be received from an agency after the start of the program). Payments can be made via MasterCard, Visa, American Express, personal check, loan or cashier’s check/money order
  • Have an email account and regular access to the internet and a computer, preferably one with both microphone and camera abilities. Please note that if the student’s computer does not have microphone capability, they will need to log into Zoom using their smart phones. Students must have the means to both hear and speak to the instructor and other students during class time.

*RN license must be a valid US state or multi-state license.  International licenses do not qualify.
**Please note that the qualifications for our program differ from the qualifications necessary to apply for the LNCC examination.

In order to register, you will need to provide proof of an active RN license. Please have your license number and expiration date available when you register.

Certificate requirements

Students will be evaluated by a number of different criteria, including participation, examination, and assignment completion. Successful completion of the program will be based on the instructor’s decision that student has met all criteria and learner objectives. Upon successful completion of the program, each student will be awarded a certificate of completion in Legal Nurse Consulting from the Duke University Office of Continuing Studies.*

*The certificate is noncredit and does not apply toward a degree.

Attendance Policy

Students may not miss more than 8 hours of instruction.

Tecnical Recommendations

Technical recommendations for participation in online synchronous version:

  1. A USB headset with microphone and earphones
  2. A webcam, either built-in to your computer or one that connects to your computer via USB.
  3. A computer with a current operating system
  •  Mac OS X with MacOS 10.6.8 /(Snow Leopard) or later
  • Windows 1
  • Windows 8 or 8.1
  • Windows 7

  4.   A current Internet browser

  •  Windows: IE11+,  Firefox,  Chrome
  • Mac: Safari5+,  Firefox,  Chrome  

5) Reliable internet access

We do not recommend using mobile devices for this program.  Please ensure you have a Windows or Mac based computer available to participate in the event your selected mobile device does not meet the needs of the course.


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Schedule & Registration


Module 1 Friday, 10/1/2021 (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
Module 2 Friday, 10/8/2021 (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
Module 3 Friday, 10/15/2021 (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
Module 4 Friday, 10/22/2021 (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
Module 5A Friday, 10/29/2021 (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
Module 5B Friday, 11/5/2021 (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
Module 6 Saturday, 10/30/2021 (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)



  1. REGISTER ONLINE using a credit card with our secure, real-time registration system.  Add the course to your shopping cart and follow the instructions for checking out.
  2. You may also choose to call the registration office at 919-684-6259 during our business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm EST) to register.  Please note that loan applicants or students who plan to use the payment plan must call to register.

Registration questions? 919-684-6259 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why has Duke Continuing Studies chosen to offer this program?

This program was created in response to the growing number of requests we received from nurses who were looking for other career opportunities. Our goal at Duke Continuing Studies is to provide affordable and high quality education to the community. This program fulfills both of these goals.  

Upon completion of the Duke LNC program will I be certified?

No. You will not be “certified” as a legal nurse consultant upon completion of the Duke program. You will receive a completion “certificate” acknowledging that you have met the educational requirements of the program.

How do I pursue certification? Who offers the exam?

Certification is a process of standardization by a governing board/agency, which requires that certain criteria be met. Certification as a Legal Nurse Consultant is offered through the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC) and administered by the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board.  The certification allows those who pass the exam to use the LNCC (Legal Nurse Consultant Certified) designation.  The LNCC is the only certification in legal nurse consulting accredited by the American Board of Nursing Specialties and recognized by the AALNC and American Nurses Association (ANA).

To qualify for the certification examination one must have at least 2000 hours of billable work as a LNC in the prior (3) years and (5) years of experience as a registered nurse. For more information and to apply for the examination please visit:

Do I have to take the Duke program in order to apply for the certification exam offered by AALNC?

No, it is not mandatory for you to complete the Duke program or any other LNC education program in order to qualify for the AALNC exam. However, the material covered in the Duke program will help to prepare individuals who seek to apply for the exam.

What will the certificate qualify me to do?

The primary purpose of the Duke Legal Nurse Consulting Certificate is to give registered nurses the tools necessary to work as independent consultants.  While some LNCs may work in-house for law firms, insurance companies, healthcare institutions, private industry, or a variety of other organizations, many will work, or at least begin working, as independent consultants. In order to work as an independent consultant, students will need to acquire a specific set of skills, which we cover in our final module: Business Principles. In this module, the instructor will cover topics including developing a business plan, setting up a consulting practice, marketing, tracking billable hours, etc.

The specific work of an LNC will depend on the employer, but may include reviewing and analyzing medical records for litigation purposes, conducting interviews with legal clients and witnesses, assisting attorneys in preparing evidence, exhibits, or arguments in a medical case, assessing risk management, analyzing and providing feedback on product liability, evaluating worker’s compensation cases, assisting in conducting healthcare licensure investigations, and providing support in other matters that are or could become a legal issue.

This course offers an education completion certificate; however, to be certified as an LNC you must meet the requirements set by the AALNC.  Though it is not required that a person be certified in order to practice as a legal nurse consultant, certification verifies experience and evaluated knowledge.

How much do legal nurse consultants get paid?

Legal nurse consultants who work as independent consultants are typically paid on an hourly basis. LNCs who work in law firms, insurance companies, and other institutions are typically paid a salary. Compensation, as in any profession, varies with scope of responsibility, level of experience, and geographic area, among other factors. (from the AALNC website)

As an RN, can I apply for the Duke program regardless of whether or not I intend to become certified?

Yes, any active RN in the U.S. and its territories may enroll in this program regardless of whether or not they intend to become certified.

Which textbook will be used during the program?

It is recommended to read Legal Nurse Consulting Principles and Practices, 3rd or 4th edition. You may order books through AALNC or Amazon. Not only will this be a good resource for your business, the instructors will refer to the book while in class.

Is this program affiliated with the Duke University Medical Center?

This program is not affiliated with the Duke University Medical Center. Duke University Continuing Studies (DCS) offers a wide variety of career-enhancing certificate programs geared toward the particular needs of working professionals. Certificate programs such as the LNC program are often co-sponsored with industry experts to provide education focused on applicability to real world issues and solutions.

Can any of the courses in the program be applied to another degree?

No. This program is a non-credit certificate program and is not applicable to a degree unless the institution being applied to is willing to extend credit to the applicant for contact hours.

Does Duke offer employment assistance to its graduates?

Students are responsible for securing their own employment upon completion of the program. During the program students will take a module, which will cover the business side of the LNC profession, including setting up your practice, creating a business plan, marketing and interviewing, etc.

How does this program differ from a Nurse Paralegal Certificate Program?

As licensed registered nurses, legal nurse consultants bring specialized healthcare education and clinical experience to the medically related issues of the litigation process. This education and experience distinguishes legal nurse consultants from paralegals and legal assistants and provides the foundation for the legal nurse consultant's ability to recognize, interpret and analyze all relevant medically related information in a claim or case. (from the AALNC website)

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Nancy H. Barham RN

Nancy Barham is a LNC for Smith Anderson law firm in Raleigh, North Carolina and she concentrates in the area of medical malpractice defense litigation where she assists the attorneys in medical record review, medical research, witness preparation, and trial.  Ms. Barham also works in the areas of personal injury litigation, general liability defense, and products liability.  She has over 20 years of experience in legal nurse consulting.  Before joining Smith Anderson, Ms. Barham worked as a nurse in various capacities, including assistant clinical manager in the Emergency Department at Rex Healthcare, Head Nurse at North Carolina State University Student Health Service, EMT instructor through Wake Technical Community College, and preceptor for the Wake County Paramedic Program. Ms. Barham is a past MICN, an ACLS instructor, PALS instructor, and Certified Emergency Room Nurse.

Ms. Barham has served as an instructor on faculty at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as serving as a faculty member for seminar presentations in the areas of risk management documentation, and legal aspects of nursing for healthcare providers.  Ms. Barham is a former president for the Eastern North Carolina Chapter of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants.  She is one of the founding instructors for the Duke LNC certificate program and the online program since its inception in 2009.

Patricia Brock, RN, MSN, LNCC, CLCP, CNLCP

Ms. Brock has over 30 years of experience as a nurse and is an independent legal nurse consultant with over ten years of experience. She received her MSN from Indiana Wesleyan University. Her clinical experience includes work in ICU, Cardiovascular ICU, and Cardiac Care Units. She also has experience as an Assistant Nurse Manager. In addition to working as an LNC, she serves as a life care planner and is a clinical adjunct professor at Daytona State College. She has authored a number of publications and presentations and is a true believer in lifelong learning.

Ms. Brock’s independent LNC business provides services to both plaintiff and defense attorneys, including but not limited to case review and screening, chronologies, case reports, identifying expert witnesses, and record organization. Her areas of practice include medical malpractice, nursing home litigation, life care planning, worker’s compensation, and personal injury among others.

Jody C. Cook, MS, RN, CPHRM

Ms. Cook brings over 30 years of passion and rich experiences as a health care risk manager.  Currently, she is the Director of the Office of Risk Management at the Brody School of Medicine @ East Carolina University.  In this role, she directs a comprehensive risk program with the goal of identifying and mitigating risks to individual patients and families, providers and staff, and the institution that will promote patient safety.  She administers the commercially purchased professional liability insurance program, which includes active participation in claims management.  Prior to 2005, she was Director of Risk Management and Patient Safety at Kaiser Permanente, North East Bay Service Area in Northern California for 9 years.  Prior to Kaiser Permanente, she was a regional risk manager for The Doctors’ Company, a professional liability insurance company in Napa, California.  She also brings field experience in the areas of medical staff affairs, quality management and performance improvement, and utilization management.  Her clinical background as a surgical critical care nurse in major academic centers and nursing administrator in the United States Air Force was the springboard for transitioning to health care risk management.  She retired from the United States Air Force Reserves with the rank of Colonel and received two Meritorious Service Medals and two Air Force Commendation Medals.  Ms. Cook holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina and a Master of Science in Healthcare Risk Management from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago, Illinois.  She is a past Certified Critical Care Nurse and Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality.  She has been a Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management since December 2001.  

Janis Cox, RNC, CNM, MSN

Ms. Cox has 39 years of nursing experience.  She earned her BSN and MSN at East Carolina University.  She has worked in ICU/CCU, Med Surg, OB-GYN, and labor and delivery.  She also has mid-level management experience and 19 years of experience as a childbirth educator.  For the past 17 years, she has worked as a Certified Nurse Midwife and does so currently at the Crist Clinic for Women in Jacksonville, North Carolina.  In addition, Ms. Cox serves on the clinical faculty at UNCW School of Nursing.

Ms. Cox has been working as an independent legal nurse since 2006 and is a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.  She has experience in setting up her own LNC business as well as marketing, billing, sub-contracting, and networking.

Patricia Crispell, BSN, RN, AIC

Ms. Crispell has been a Legal Nurse Consultant since 1988, one of the first in this industry. She is owner of Crispell & Associates, a legal nurse consulting firm, where she specializes in personal injury and worker’s compensation cases involving medical issues, causation issues, fraudulent claims and death or permanent impairment due to injury.  She reviews cases for plaintiff and defense attorneys and insurance companies.  She attends depositions, mediations and trials, if litigation is involved.  She also has experience as a claims medical specialist at Nationwide Insurance Company where she consulted with commercial and catastrophic claims adjusters and attorneys regarding medical issues of claims. Her clinical nursing experience includes Multisystem Trauma ICU, Orthopedics, Neurology and Pediatric Home Health.  She received her BSN from Syracuse University.  She received her Associate in Claims (AIC) from the Insurance Institute of America. Ms. Crispell is also a past president for the Eastern North Carolina Chapter of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants.

Debbie Flowers, RN, MSN, CPNP, SANE-A, SANE-P

Ms. Flowers has worked with both UNC School of Nursing and Duke Continuing Studies in planning as well as presenting CE topics for the past 8 years.  She specializes in forensic and legal nursing, particularly pertaining to child abuse and neglect.  She has nearly 20 years of experience in Emergency Nursing with 13 years in Forensic/Sexual Assault Nursing. She has administrative and clinical practice in child abuse and neglect with the NC Child Medical Evaluation Program as well as the UNC Health Care Beacon Child Protection Team.   Ms. Flowers has also developed and presented many programs relating to forensic nursing.                                                               

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Tuition & Funding Sources



Only one discount may be applied toward your registration.

Duke employees are eligible to receive a $200 discount. To receive this discount, participants should register by phone at 919-684-6259.

Duke Employee Discount

• $200 off the fee of $2195 

Duke employee pays fee of $1995

• Student must register and pay tuition in full or have loan “certified” by Duke Continuing Studies, prior to the program start date, in order to reserve space in the program for that term.

• Note: an education requirement is required for participation in this program

• Questions: Contact Program Manager at 919-684-2601

Discount must be requested and applied during the registration process and cannot be applied in addition to any other discount that may be offered. You may be asked to verify your status as a Duke employee. 

Group Discount

Do you have a group (Duke or non-Duke entity) interested in training?

Contact Program Manager for details.

Payment Plan

Students who wish to make multiple payments may pay $1,000 at the time of registration and pay the remaining balance by the end of business on the first day of class. Students will not be permitted to attend class with a balance due. Participants who wish to make payments must call to register.

Funding Sources

The funding options listed below may not be applicable to all programs at this time. Please contact the organization offering the funding to see if you qualify and if the funds can be used for the program in which you are interested.


Our Professional Certificate programs are non-credit (not degree applicable); therefore, they are NOT eligible for federal education loans. DO NOT SUBMIT FAFSA FORMS for these programs. Some of our programs may offer payment plans. Please see individual program web pages for those details.

Duke Continuing Studies courses are non-degree offerings. Therefore, loans (Wells Fargo Graduate loan, Sallie Mae Smart Option Undergraduate loan, etc.) cannot be construed to imply any degree-seeking status.

Duke Continuing Studies (DCS) will not certify (approve) loan amounts greater than the amount of the tuition, regardless of the amount approved by the lending agency. DCS reserves the right to reject any loan which exceeds the tuition amount. DCS will not be responsible for refunding monies in excess of the tuition. Students needing to secure loan funding for books or other items in relation to the program are responsible for making separate loan arrangements with the funding agency. No loan funds will be refunded to the student.

Should a student choose to borrow less than the tuition amount, the balance must be paid prior to the close of the registration period.

Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan

To apply for this private student loan, visit Sallie Mae’s website, and click the I’m ready to apply buttonThe following application should populate with the pertinent information for Duke Continuing Studies.

  • Under Loan Needs, select Student and then Undergraduate degree.
  • Select Career training school. 
  • Select North Carolina from the drop down menu.
  • Under name of school begin typing DUKE PROFESSIONAL, then select DUKE PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATES, DURHAM, NC, 00292099 when it populates.
  • Click Continue.
  • Next, You've confirmed that you want a Smart Option Student Loan for DUKE PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATES will appear.
  • Click Continue.
  • Fill out Basic Information.
  • Fill out Permanent Address section.
  • Fill out School Information.
    • DUKE PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATES, DURHAM, NC, 00292099 should already have populated for the school.
    • Select Certificate for Degree/Certificate of Study.
    • Select your Specialty or select Other if it is not shown in the options.
    • Select Half Time for Enrollment Status.
    • Select Certificate/Continuing Ed for Grade Level.
    • Enter your Loan period begins and loan period end dates.
    • Enter your Anticipated Graduation / Completion.
    • Enter loan amount. NOTE: This may not exceed the cost of tuition.
    • Estimated financial assistance should be $0.00.
    • Under Loan request, click Use calculated need.
    • Do not check any box in typical school expenses.
  • Follow the remaining loan application prompts.

Wells Fargo Graduate Loan

Please note that Wells Fargo is no longer accepting new applications for their private student loans. However, students with an outstanding balance on a Wells Fargo private student loan may be eligible to be borrowers on a new private loan. See here for details.

Duke Hospital Employees

Duke University Hospital employees may be eligible for support from the Employee Development Initiative (EDI), which helps employees pay for short-term career-related programs, workshops, and seminars. For more information, visit the Employee Development Initiative site or call Duke Hospital Human Resources at (919) 668-2170.

Workforce Investment Act

The WIA provides professional and basic skills training services to those who have been unable to find employment. Please keep in mind that this process can be lengthy, so plan to apply well in advance of the program start date.  For more information on eligibility, the application process, or to find your local Workforce Development Board, visit the NC JobLink Career Center website.


AmeriCorps Education Awards are available only for AmeriCorps volunteers and can be used for educational expenses for non-degree courses, such as Continuing Education courses offered by qualified schools. For more information on qualified schools and programs, contact the National Service Trust at 1-800-942-2677, or visit the FAQ page of the AmeriCorps website.


The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program provides up to $4,000 (over 2 years) of Financial Assistance for military spouses who are pursuing a license, certification, or Associates degree in a portable career field and occupation. For more information, please visit the MyCAA website.

Wire Transfers

Contact our registration office at for details on how to send wire transfers. Very specific instructions must be followed in order for our office to receive a successful transfer.

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Policies & Procedures

To receive a refund minus a $100 processing fee, we must receive your written cancellation request at least two weeks before the program begins. Include your name, address, phone number, and program to be dropped. You may inform us by:

Fax: 919-681-8235
Mail: Registration – Legal Nurse Consultant Program
Duke Continuing Studies
Box 90700
Durham, NC 27708-0700

Bad Checks

If a check is returned for insufficient funds, we will charge a returned check fee of $35. Checks will not be resubmitted. The replacement payment must include the additional $35 and be in the form of cash, money order, or credit card.

Course is Filled / Waiting List

If a course is already filled, a waiting list is usually available instead. If you are interested in placing your name on the waiting list, follow the checkout instructions to do so. If a space becomes available, a registration staff member will call you and ask if you are still interested. If you are interested, registration staff can take your payment information over the phone and complete your registration at that time.

If We Cancel a Course

Sometimes we have to cancel a course that does not meet minimum enrollment, or due to unforeseen events. If that happens, you will receive a full or pro-rated refund. Duke Continuing Studies reserves the right to substitute instructors or change the day a course meets.

Tax Deductions

Course fees and expenses are sometimes tax deductible. Please consult an accountant concerning this matter. Non-credit programs at Duke Continuing Studies do not generate 1098-T forms, in accordance with the following IRS guideline:

Instructions for Forms 1098-E and 1098-T published by the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, states “You do not have to file Form 1098-T or furnish a statement for: Courses for which no academic credit is offered, even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program…”

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