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A Career in Forensic Nursing

An online RN school can offer a wide variety of career options for registered nurses. One option that is relatively new in the medical profession is forensic nursing. A position in this field combines the two areas of law enforcement and health care. These registered nurses may treat victims of violent crimes such as rape, perform investigations at crime scenes and work closely with the police department and detectives in clinical settings. One of the most important job duties of a forensic nurse is helping in the physical and emotional recovery of the victim.

Through an online RN school, forensic nurses will learn to recognize, collect and preserve crime evidence while treating the injuries of a patient. A variety of specialties are available within the field of forensic nursing. This includes correctional nursing, sexual assault nursing, gerontology, a nurse coroner, legal nurse consulting and community education. Forensic nurses can find jobs in hospital emergency rooms, health care facilities, prisons, the offices of a coroner, prosecutor or medical examiner, psychiatric facilities and insurance companies. They can also work independently as a consultant.

A forensic nurse that completes an online RN school may also be known as a sexual assault nurse examiner or SANE. Extensive training prepares these individuals to work in extreme situations. Some victims may not want to discuss their experiences with the medical team, so a forensic nurse must learn to evaluate the medical history of a patient as well as their injuries, to determine what took place. Evidence from crime victims is time sensitive and generally must be collected by a medical professional within 72 hours. Forensic nurses may also be called to present their evidence in court which has led to higher conviction rates for criminals.

A forensic nurse is a new medical specialty that has only recently become available through web based education such as an online RN school. The first convention of just 70 sexual assault nurses met at a convention in 1992 and coined the term forensic nurse. In 1996, the International Association of Forensic Nurses or IAFN was formed. The job outlook for the profession of forensic nursing is very good and the Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts increased growth over the next decade. The salary for this occupation will vary greatly depending on location and level of experience in the field of forensic nursing but generally falls somewhere between $26 and $100 dollars per hour.