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How does a nurse become an expert witness?

Dear Donna,

Is it true that legal nurse consultants don’t have to be certified? If no certification is necessary, how do nurses with no experience in LNC business become expert witnesses?

Interested in Being an Expert Witness

Dear Interested in Being an Expert Witness,

It is true that nurses do not need to be certified to be a legal nurse consultant or an expert witness. It is your nursing knowledge and experience that is valuable and marketable in this specialty.

The best way to learn more about this specialty and to find resources to get started, including a self-assessment tool to see if LNC is right for you, is to connect with the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants. There’s lots of information on their website, but also attend local chapter meetings of AALNC, as a guest for now. Do some informational interviewing  with members and officers. When there’s something you want to do, it makes sense to rub elbows with those already doing it.

It is important to know that being an LNC is different than being an expert witness. Some nurses do both, but many only do one or the other. LNCs do consulting work including chart review, report writing and research in the legal arena. Expert witnesses typically testify in court and usually have a specialized background in a particular area of nursing, including related credentials. Here is a article, “UCLA psych nurse turns expert witness, offers advice to RN entreprenuers,” about nurses who do both.

Best wishes,


By | 2020-04-15T15:59:04-04:00 May 1st, 2015|Categories: General, Nursing careers and jobs|2 Comments

About the Author:

Donna Cardillo
Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, CSP, is president of Known as The Inspiration Nurse, she is a keynote speaker, retreat and seminar leader, and author of "Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional" and "The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career." She brings more than 25 years of clinical, management and business experience to her role as career guru.


  1. Avatar
    syd October 10, 2016 at 12:28 am - Reply

    i have worked at a children’s hospital for 26 years and thinking about becoming an expert witness. I have been an expert witness with the Board of Registered Nursing on a few cases. Please advise what my next step should be
    Sydney Gillett RN,MSN

  2. Avatar
    Thomas September 3, 2017 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Great post! Have nice day ! 🙂 kkmvp

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