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What to Look for in an Expert Nurse Witness

The role of the expert nurse witness is a relatively new one. It used to be that only physicians and surgeons would participate as expert witnesses. Unfortunately, this was a large detriment to cases involving nursing care and nursing standards of practice. During the eighties, it became more common for nurses to work in the legal profession as Expert Nurse Witnesses

To understand what to look for in an Expert Nurse Witness, you need to consider the role of an Expert Witness. Expert witnesses are hired by a legal team to act as a liaison between the law and the subject that they are experts. Unlike witnesses to a crime, an expert witness was not present when the situation took place. Instead, they use their expertise to explain the situation and give their professional opinion. In the case of Expert Nurse Witnesses, these nurses give their expert opinion on nursing and medicine, as well as provide valuable assistance to the legal team in preparing for trial or deposition. Expert Nurse Witnesses help legal teams build their cases by reviewing medical files, providing expert opinions on long-term care costs, creating a medical timeline, and testifying at trial or deposition. 

But not all Expert Nurse Witnesses are created equal. To choose the best Expert Nurse Witness, you need to thoroughly vet their qualifications and make sure that they are a good fit for your case. Read on to learn more about what to look for in an Expert Nurse Witness.

Education

Nursing is an umbrella term that covers a lot of different roles and education levels. To be a Nurse Expert Witness, one should at least be a Registered Nurse or RN. A Registered Nurse has completed either a bachelor’s or associate’s degree and passed their state-required NCLEX examination. They are then licensed by the State Board of Nursing (BON). That nursing license must remain valid and unencumbered. 

However, because the field of Expert Nurse Witnesses is so competitive, many seek higher education and get their Masters of Science in Nursing, making them Advanced Practice Registered Nurse or an APRN. They could also get a Doctorate in Nursing and become a Doctor of Nursing Practice or DNP. DNPs are often found in positions of leadership at hospitals and other nursing administrations, which makes them a good choice for an Expert Nurse Witness. 

Medical Experience

While education is important, the best thing to look for in an Expert Nurse Witness is someone with both educational nursing experience as well as practical nursing experience. While educational qualifications are very important, medical experience is an equally important qualifier. 

When looking for an Expert Nurse Witness for your legal team, it is best to find someone with a lot of experience both acting as a nurse and on the administrative side. A nurse who has had a lot of time in leadership roles will be able to explain the complexities of medical administration. In addition, these nurses will be well versed in nursing standards of practice and what qualifies as adequate care. This can be very useful in medical malpractice cases involving nurses. 

Legal Experience

The final thing to look for in an Expert Nurse Witness is their experience working as an Expert Witness. When meeting potential Expert Nurse Witnesses, ask them about other cases they have worked on and their outcomes. You can also ask other legal teams about the Expert Nurse Witnesses they use and what kind of services they provide for the legal team. Did they adequately fulfill the role of Expert Nurse Witness? Was their input useful for building a case?

While it is important to get the most qualified medical nurse possible for your Expert Nurse Witness, knowing the law and how the court works is very useful to a good Expert Nurse Witness. This is especially true when it comes time to review medical files and build timelines because a Nurse with experience as an Expert Nurse Witness will know what they are looking for and what information can be beneficial to building a case. 

Why Choose Legal Medical Consulting 

Those looking for an Expert Nurse Witness need to look no further! Dr. McNew (DNP) and his team at Legal Medical Consulting have all the experience you need to win your case. Give us a call or check out our website today and see what we can do to help your legal team. 

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