If you are trying a medical malpractice case, or any case with a medical element, consider bringing a Nurse Expert Witness onto your team. Nurse Expert Witnesses are generally hired by lawyers to shed light on medical documents, as well as explain nursing standards and practices to the court. Nurse Expert Witnesses are also often hired by insurance companies and medical accident prevention services.
However, it is important to note that nurse is an umbrella term, and there are several different types of nurses with different areas of expertise. If you are looking for an expert witness, it’s important to know exactly which kind of nurse you will need. Read on to learn more about the different nursing titles and what they mean.
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
A DNP is a nurse who has received the highest level of education available for practice-based training in nursing. DNP nurses are often found in positions of nursing leadership, either in a clinical setting or in a directorial role.
Because of their high levels of knowledge in medical practice, nursing standards, and health policy, DNP’s are highly sought Expert witnesses and are useful in any trial, especially those regarding health policy or patient care.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, aka ARPNs, have a Master’s of Science in Nursing. This level of education is required for such career paths as nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse-midwives. Other subspecialties may require more clinical experience. If you are working on a medical case with a very specific subspecialty, such as a medical malpractice midwifery case, consider an Expert Witness APRN in the same specialty.
Registered Nurse (RN)
A Registered Nurse is a licensed nursing professional with either a bachelor of science in nursing or an associate’s degree in nursing. In order to hold themselves out as an RN, they must take and pass a state exam and regularly maintain their license.
A Registered Nurse is authorized to administer medications, oversee medical equipment and monitor patients directly. They can also perform diagnostic tests and often collaborate with doctors in inpatient care, though in some states an RN can practice separately.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs, are the vital lifeblood of any medical facility. CNAs interact directly with the patients’ basic needs, such as dressing, eating, mobility and bathroom needs, etc. CNAs can be found in medical facilities such as hospitals, rehabs, and assisted living facilities. Education requirements include a high school diploma or GED equivalent and specific nursing training.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Licensed Practical Nurses, or LPNs, attend community college or technical school nursing courses and are licensed to perform such tasks as changing bandages and blood pressure tests. These front-line workers interact directly with the patients everywhere from doctors’ offices to hospitals.
Which Type of Nurse Expert Witness is Right For You?
Now that you know the variety of nursing credentials and their places in healthcare, you are placed with the daunting task of picking one for your case. The type of expert witness you need, and their required credentials, depends entirely on what kind of case you are trying.
For example, if you are trying a case where a hospital is being sued over a perceived error in the standard of care during the administration of anesthesia, then it would likely be best to find an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) with a subspecialty in anesthetists and lots of clinical experience. They will be able to review the situation from the perspective of an expert, and explain the process in layman’s terms to the court.
If the case in question has more to do with a medical facility’s healthcare policies or standards of care, it would be better to find a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) who has a lot of nursing leadership and directing experience. They will be able to shed light on standard hospital policies and healthcare laws.
Why Choose Legal Medical Consulting for your Dallas, TX Nurse Expert Witness?
If you are in need of a Legal Expert Witness, look no further than Dr. McNew (DNP) and his team at Legal Medical Consulting. With over 34 years of experience in both clinical settings and in director positions, Legal Medical Consulting has the knowledge you need to win your case. If you are considering a nurse expert witness for your trial, give us a call or check out our website and see what we can do to help you.