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What is the Difference Between a Legal Nurse Consultant and an Expert Witness?

A certification as a Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC), allows a nurse to work with attorneys on medical cases to help review and summarize medical records, give an opinion on whether or not a case may have merit and are often utilized to help attorneys interpret medical terminology. An attorney may look to seek the help of an LNC to help them understand the standards in a particular area of nursing care, help prepare for trial, deposition and arbitration. An LNC is typically seen assisting with the “background” aspects of a legal medical case, is not required to testify, have recent clinical experience or maintain a license as a registered nurse.

An Expert Witness Nurse on the other hand can be a nurse working in a specialty or field that has knowledge and experience in the current standards. The expert nurse must have direct clinical experience in that field. A nurse’s role as an expert is to review medical records and give an opinion on whether or not the standard of care was followed. Typically, a written report will be provided to the attorney, which is submitted to the court. In contrast to an LNC, experts may be required to testify at deposition or at trial. There is no special education required to act as an expert witness, however, an active unencumbered nursing license is needed along with keeping any certifications up to date that is listed on a CV.

In conclusion, taking a course and becoming certified in legal nurse consulting may be advantageous when taking on work as an expert, it does not automatically qualify a nurse to act as an expert witness.

Expert Witness Nurses accepts nurses with LNC, but this is not a requirement. If you are interested in taking on expert work, are highly experienced in your field of nursing and want to expand your opportunities to work in this exciting field of nursing, send us your CV!

For more information on what a Legal Nurse Consultant is and what an Expert Witness is, please check out the following links: