NURSING is a medical profession devoted to the healthcare of individual patients, groups, and communities, regardless of age or gender, in every imaginable healthcare setting. Depending on state requirements and licensure, nurses may work independently or collaboratively, though the majority practice under the auspices of an attending physician. There are nearly 4 million nurses in the United States, of which 75% are Registered Nurses (RN) and 25% are Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN). LPNs typically have one year of nurse training from a technical or community college. This allows LPNs to provide basic nursing care. Registered Nurses are licensed to provide a much higher level of medical care, and this is because RNs must first secure an associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in Nursing, or earn a diploma from an approved nursing school. Such programs take up to 4 years to complete. In all 50 states, the practice of Nursing is regulated by a State Board of Nursing that follows the Nurse Practice Act (NPA). The NPA is a set of rules and regulations that governs the entire scope of nursing practice as well as requirements for licensure and educational programs. Nurses practice in every medical and surgical specialty with many devoting the majority of their career to specialization in a single area such as the emergency department, operating room, or subspecialty clinic. There are also nearly 100 special certifications that nurses can obtain ranging from Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) to Certified Wound Ostomy Continence Nurse (CWOCN). Whether practicing as a generalist or specialist, nurses play a vital role in America’s healthcare system.
Nurse expert witnesses are required to address standards of care in a number of situations in medical malpractice litigation. The most common claims against nurses allege failing to recognize or report high-risk situations (e.g. abnormal vital signs, fetal monitoring, bed sores), or failing to prevent falls in patients with known fall risks. Elite thrives on these tough situations and has an extensive record of success in complex Nursing litigation.