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Overview of Master Degree Programs in Forensic Nursing

Majors Overview May 16, 2018

This article talks about master’s degree programs in forensic nursing and their educational requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education options.

Master’s Programs in Forensic Nursing

A regular nurse shares all of the healthcare functions with forensic nurses who also participate in crime analysis and forensic evidence gathering. Additionally, victims of violent crime and assault are counseled by these professionals who work with both perpetrators and crime victims in collecting evidence in assault cases.

Individuals who seek careers in forensic nursing may also consider Master of Science (M.S.) degree program offered by schools. A forensic nursing curriculum comprises traditional core nursing courses along with forensic courses. In the latter are topics such as crime scene analysis, scientific investigation methods, trauma treatment methods, and legal processes. A thesis or capstone project is typically necessary for students.

Typically, forensic nursing programs are aimed at working professional nurses; accordingly, weekend and evening courses are offered in most programs, along with part-time study options and asynchronous online courses. Full-time students can usually complete programs within two years.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold bachelor’s degree in nursing. Applicants are commonly required to be licensed registered nurses, along with submitting letters of recommendation, undergraduate transcripts, a resume, graduate test scores, and an admissions essay. Liability insurance and CPR certification are also necessary for applicants to some programs. Immunization records may also be necessary for students who may have to agree to a criminal background check and a drug test.


Some of the coursework that may be involved in this program are listed below:

•Forensic pathology
•Victim care
•Legal aspects of forensics
•Interpersonal violence

Job and Wage Outlook

Registered nurses are expected to see a 15% job growth, over the 2016-2026 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Forensic nurses brought in an average annual wage of $70,000, in May 2016.

Continuing Education Options

Program graduates may seek continuing education by pursuing a doctoral program with a forensic nursing concentration. A doctoral degree could lead to careers in academia or research. Students seeking more information on doctoral programs, along with licensing information and networking opportunities may contact the American Nurses Association, a non-profit organization.

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