Q. What educational background should an attorney look for when choosing a life care planner?
A. Ask for proof of current, unrestricted registered nurse licensure. A registered nurse with a broad background in nursing, preferably with degree(s) from accredited college or university nursing programs, is essential for assessing the injured person’s function, cognition, and current situation. A certified nurse life care planner has education and experience in case management and life care planning, and has passed a national examination to demonstrate competence. Other certifications, such as for rehabilitation nursing, case management, disability management, legal nurse consulting, and other nursing specialty will testify to the nurse’s breadth and depth of expertise.
Attorneys often seek life care planners with extensive testifying experience. However, it’s important to know that the vast majority of life care planning cases are settled before trial. A nurse life care planner with a good methodology, confident manner, and excellent speaking ability to explain to the court may have few or no opportunities to have done so. A personal interview is helpful in assessing the life care planner’s personal presentation and willingness to testify.
Finally, ask for a writing sample. A poorly-written life care plan will not help you win your case.