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
3 Program(s) Found
Fortis Institute , Grand Prairie
  • Gain Knowledge and Skills While You Earn Your Nursing Degree at Fortis!
  • Accredited
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Why Earn Your Degree from GCU?
  • Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more!
  • Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both!
  • Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
  • Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
  • Quality: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is regionally accredited. Learn more today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Education Connection is a 100% Free College Matching Service used by 50,000 People Daily.
  • Get Matched to Psychology, Counseling, Human Services, Organizational, and Clinical Psychology Degree Programs and MORE.
  • View Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate and Graduate Certificate Degree Programs in Psychology and Human Services Near YOU!
  • Accredited and Flexible Psychology Degree Programs to Fit Your Time and Budget. Use Our Matching Service - It's Easy and FREE!
  • Online Courses
  • BSN completion program for Registered Nurses is available entirely online.
  • The RN to BSN program is designed to help students advance their career, or prepare for post-graduate opportunities.
  • Courses teach modern health assessment and treatment methods, how to evaluate potential disease or injury, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
1 Program(s) Found
  • Why Earn Your Degree from GCU?
  • Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more!
  • Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both!
  • Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
  • Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
  • Quality: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is regionally accredited. Learn more today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Education Connection is a 100% Free College Matching Service used by 50,000 People Daily.
  • Get Matched to Psychology, Counseling, Human Services, Organizational, and Clinical Psychology Degree Programs and MORE.
  • View Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate and Graduate Certificate Degree Programs in Psychology and Human Services Near YOU!
  • Accredited and Flexible Psychology Degree Programs to Fit Your Time and Budget. Use Our Matching Service - It's Easy and FREE!
  • Online Courses
  • BSN completion program for Registered Nurses is available entirely online.
  • The RN to BSN program is designed to help students advance their career, or prepare for post-graduate opportunities.
  • Courses teach modern health assessment and treatment methods, how to evaluate potential disease or injury, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!