Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

What Do I Need to Do in Order to Become a Forensic Nurse?

Career News July 16, 2014

If you are considering a career in the nursing field, or if you are already a nurse and seeking additional professional challenges, a job as a forensic nurse might be just what you’re looking for. One of many incredible options open to nurses opting to specialize, this career combines nursing and law in a rewarding and challenging new healthcare field. You’ll be able to work with victims of crimes and sexual assaults, assist in death inquiries, and help with criminal evidence investigations. Strong candidates will be compassionate, emotionally stable, well-organized and detail-oriented.

Educational Requirements

Depending on which state you live in, certification requirements may vary, but the first step is to acquire a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, or BSN. Nurses wishing to advance to more specialized position of forensic nurse must either earn a postgraduate certificate in the field or a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a specialization in area of forensics. [1]

Undergraduate Work

A BSN program provides a strong background not only in clinical assessment, but in critical thinking and situational analysis, which is vital for work in this fast-paced and exciting field. Clinical rotations provide an opportunity to experience different types of nursing specialties from critical care to obstetrics and pediatrics, giving candidates a good idea of where their strengths and interests lie. The Registered Nurse credential itself is awarded upon passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

Postgraduate Training

You can get certified as a forensic nurse in one of two ways. The quickest route is to acquire a postgraduate certificate, often found in the continuing education department of nursing schools. Requirements vary from program to program and may include anything from a selection of lectures to several semesters of class work combining education in law, forensic science and nursing.

Alternately, a two-year MSN program with a specialization may be pursued. The course of study for an MSN in the forensic specialty opens a broad variety of career options, including legal nursing consultant, nurse coroner, forensic psychiatric nurse or death investigator. Nurses with this degree can effectively identify and help prevent all forms of domestic abuse, assist in legal investigations and help investigate suspicious deaths.

Credentials

Various forms of credentialing are available for nurses wishing to specialize in forensic nursing, and they can be obtained through the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN). The two available specialties are Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner-Adult/Adolescent certification (SANE-A) and the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner – Pediatric certification (SANE-P), both requiring a written examination and renewal every three years. Continuing education credits are required to keep your license current.

Employment Opportunities

There are numerous opportunities within the field of forensic nursing. Corrections facilities, emergency rooms, morgues and attorney’s offices are some of the major sites of employment, and a broad range of duties may include evidence collection, victim assessment and treatment, autopsy assistance, and rehabilitation of criminals.

Licensing and Professional Organizations

Licensing at the state level is required. You may also want to join a professional organization such as the IAFN. Not only does membership give a leg up in gaining employment, but it provides access to continuing education, online publications, listings in professional directories and opportunities for networking.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
South University , Virginia Beach
  • Several nursing programs are available at the bachelor's, post-graduate, master's, and doctoral levels.
  • Graduate-level specialization options include Nurse Educator, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Administrator, and more.
  • Nursing programs are available at many of the 11 campus locations across the United States.
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!
  • Study on your schedule - GCU offers many programs 100% online to fit your busy lifestyle.
  • GCU offers a variety of opportunities to reduce the cost of furthering your education. Campus students may qualify for scholarships, while online students can take part in limited special offers.
  • A regionally accredited university, GCU also holds specialized accreditations and approvals for some of our core program offerings.
  • Degrees in business, education, nursing, humanities and social sciences, theology and more. Find the degree that fits you.
  • Talk to us today to learn more about financial aid and start dates!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your Bachelor of Science of Healthcare Management degree online
  • South University brings over 115 years of achievement and tradition to a supportive, online classroom
  • Program focuses on the business, management, and healthcare skills necessary for healthcare organizations to run smoothly
  • Courses include Principles of Management, Healthcare Delivery and Organization, and Healthcare Finance
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked 8th among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A private, co-ed college founded in 1821 and located in downtown Washington, D.C.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and 55.1% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Why study nursing at Grand Canyon University?
  • Our bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing are CCNE-accredited and the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions (CONHCP) is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
  • We provide many options to prepare you to begin or advance your nursing career, including bridge programs and dual degrees.
  • GCU provides a low student-to-teacher ratio and a Christian environment that provides an opportunity for you to embrace a holistic approach to caring for patients.
  • Request more information today about program offerings, CCNE accreditation, start dates, financial aid and more!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked 8th among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A private, co-ed college founded in 1821 and located in downtown Washington, D.C.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and 55.1% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!