Today in the chart

How to Become a Nurse Consultant

Nurse consultants have more freedom and flexibility and usually gain experience with a wide variety of skills as a result of working multiple institutions.

Becoming a consultant is a pretty attractive option if you’re a nurse. Not only is there potential for more freedom and flexibility in general, but you may be able to set your own hours or have more control over the hours that you work, and there’s also a greater variety of tasks than you might get while working at a single institution. You can even work for yourself as an independent contractor or a specific institution or agency.

Nurse consultants generally identify and solve client problems, such as acting as legal liaisons between a client and a lawyer. If you are a legal nurse consultant, you may help laypeople, and law professionals understand medical terminology, gather evidence used in medical malpractice, fraud, or criminal cases, or even act as an expert witness to explain medical terminology in the courtroom.

However, you can also leverage other types of specialized knowledge you have to become a nurse consultant. Whether it’s a nursing home, laboratory, insurance company, or hospital, nurse consultants may help educate staffers, pass inspections, provide continuing education, or fill any potential needs. But how do you become a nurse consultant? Well, the good news is that you can start working as a nurse consultant part-time, building your business and client base while supplementing your income.

To get started, you can apply for nurse consultant positions in a field you know, such as oncology or pediatrics. Or you can emphasize your expertise to potential clients, such as law firms or insurance companies, in your area. Networking with other nurse consultants is an excellent place to start. While it can be challenging to launch a side career while working full-time as a nurse, take advantage of any downtime you might have, particularly if you work 12-hour shifts.

If you’re thinking about this as a career or career change, here’s what you need to know:

  • Regarding credentials, nurse consultants are generally RNs or family nurse practitioners. Some universities and organizations offer additional formal training or certification, such as the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants, but is generally not required to practice.
  • When it comes to salary, it can vary widely. But according to, the average annual salary for a regional nurse consultant is $112,749, although it can range from $95,000 to $133,500.
  • Startup costs can be relatively low. If you already have a home office, including a computer and printer, that’s the first step to launching your business. You may want to invest in business cards or other marketing materials, but that’s optional.
  • You can set up your business as a sole proprietorship; an LLC, a limited liability company; or a corporation. The National Nurses in Business Association (NBBA)recommends incorporating your consulting business to take advantage of tax breaks and help protect against business losses.

Most of all, think like an entrepreneur, and don’t be intimidated. Being a nurse consultant can offer you control, flexibility, and higher income, as well as expanded skills that make you more attractive to future employers.

Subscribe to our M-F newsletter
Thank you for subscribing! Welcome to The Nursing Beat!
Please enter your email address