Expert witnesses have higher credibility with a degree[/caption]Legal nurse consultants are in demand today, not just for their research and interpretation skills, but also because of their credibility as nursing expert witnesses.
LNCs are not required to hold a degree – an RN license and several years of experience should be enough to open up opportunities in the world of legal nurse consulting; however, if you hold a bachelors or masters degree in nursing, you stand a better chance of being taken seriously as a nursing expert witness because:
- When you don’t hold a degree, attorneys from the opposing camp are definitely going to bring out the fact that you didn’t go to college and because of this, your expertise is questionable.
- A formal degree trains you to think critically, understand research, and have exposure to a wide variety of patients. You will use this knowledge to be credible on the witness stand, to stand up under tough questioning and cross-examination from attorneys, and stick to your guns and avoid getting confused no matter how much the opposing attorney tries to throw you off track.
- Registered Nurses who hold a BSN or MSN degree are perceived to know more about nursing and so perceived as credible witnesses who are knowledgeable in their field of expertise.
- Four years of college (or more) provide you with an experience that is irreplaceable in terms of boosting your skills and enhancing your knowledge; you’re more confident and sure about yourself when you’re a graduate, and this attitude comes across as credibility on the witness stand.
Many RNs go back to school to earn their BSN or Masters Degree in order to further their careers, so if you’re considering a jump to the legal nurse consulting field, a degree bolsters your chances of professional success.
If you cannot take time off work to go back to school on a full time basis, consider online options that are accredited and reputable. They’re good alternatives when traditional degrees are not possible and when you’re a working professional. A nursing degree strengthens your credibility and may lead to more nursing expert witness work.