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3 Top Forensic Nursing Schools

Forensic nursing is a relatively new and rewarding career. As a forensic nurse, you will be responsible for examining patients and following established evidence collection procedures. Certified Forensic Nurses often work in hospitals but also may be found working in correctional facilities, insurance companies, coroner’s offices, psychiatric facilities or medical examiner’s offices. You might also find work as a consultant. This career requires training above and beyond that which is required of Registered Nurses (RNs). Although not technically required, many jobs and certifications require an advanced degree. Some of the top nursing colleges in the country offer a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in forensic nursing. Three of the best forensic nursing colleges include Boston College, John Hopkins University, and Xavier University.

John Hopkins University is one of the top four nursing schools in the United States according to the US News and World Report. It is also one of few universities to offer a forensic nursing program. Students at the graduate level can choose to take courses in death investigation, sexual assault, child abuse and neglect and abuse of the elderly. This program requires 40 to 41 credit hours of intense study. Similar to other forensic nursing colleges, you will need to have a BSN and an RN license before you can apply.

Boston College is one of the best forensic nursing colleges that offer a specialization in forensic nursing in addition to its other graduate level courses. This program will teach Clinical Nurse Specialists to examine evidence, collect testimonies, and influence policy legislation in their role as victim advocates. Students will gain hands-on experience in a variety of environments; they will also be able to watch the director of the program at work to better understand the role of a forensic nurse in a courtroom environment.

Xavier University, while not one of the top nursing schools overall offers a very good forensic nursing concentration that puts it ahead of other forensic nursing colleges. A degree from this university will prepare students to work as forensic psychiatric nurses, sexual assault nurses, or nurse coroners. This program is designed to help students understand the principles of the criminal justice system in relation to nursing. Students will have many clinical labs in which they can learn to recognize the signs of abuse and assault. You might also consider attending this school if you wish to become a nurse consultant.