Nurse Expert Witness

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The Evolution of the Nurse Expert Witness

The Evolution of the Nurse Expert Witness
The Importance of Knowing the History of Professional Nursing
Wisdom regarding the history of nursing provides nurses with an appreciation for their profession today (Zerwekh & Claborn, 2009). A classic reason for studying history is to avoid repeating it. However, knowing the history of professional nursing can not only enlighten an individual to changes that need to be performed, but also previous solutions that may be recycled (Zerwekh & Claborn, 2009). The content of nursing history is only one aspect of its contribution to the profession. Understanding the roots of nursing serves to expand critical thinking skills and promote a sense of professional heritage and identity. The role of a nurse, and the evolution of the practice, is defined through the study of the profession’s history. Awareness of nursing history promotes understanding of the social and intellectual origins of the discipline (Zerwekh & Claborn, 2009). Nursing is an ever-evolving practice. The wealth of its historical knowledge should not be ignored (Zerwekh & Claborn, 2009). History of the Nurse Expert Witness

An expert witness is defined as a person “qualified by knowledge, experience, training, or education to provide a scientific, technical, or other specialized opinion about the evidence or a fact issue” (Murphy, 2005, p. 853). In the United States, the desire for expert testimony arose near the beginning of the twentieth century; however, the need for the nurse expert witness did not achieve recognition until the late 1970s (Cohen, Rosen, & Barbacci, 2008). During court proceedings the adequacy of another nurse’s actions may be questioned. In such a situation, a nurse expert may be summoned for testimony. Nevertheless, physicians have been the accepted voice to explain standards of nursing care for decades within the court system (Murphy, 2005). Cohen et...
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