Career Opportunities in Forensic Nursing
Forensic nurses work with victims to collect evidence of abuse or violent crimes. If you would like to combine your nursing career with the principles of criminal justice, you might consider pursuing this type of career. Experts believe that nurse forensics can play an essential role in the criminal justice system. Forensic nurses must often act against their nursing instincts. For example, if a woman came into the emergency room with severe wounds, a nurse would automatically wash and bandage the injury. A forensic nurse, on the other hand, would examine the wound for evidence first. If you are interested in this career, consider taking a forensic nursing course.
A degree or certificate in forensic nursing can open doors to a number of new employment opportunities. You might find yourself working in a coroner’s office, a hospital, an insurance company, a correctional institution, a mental health facility, or a medical examiner’s office. Forensic nurses might also work as consultants. No matter where you work, you will be responsible for collecting evidence and testifying in court. A forensic nursing course can prepare you for this type of work.
Forensic nursing is a relative newcomer to the field of medicine and few colleges offer courses or degrees in forensic nursing. You will probably need to get a Bachelor’s degree in nursing or a related field before you can take a forensic nursing course. If you would like to pursue a career in forensic nursing, consider attending a top college such as Boston College, John Hopkins University, Monmouth University, or Xavier University. Some colleges offer online programs, including the University of California-Riverside and Fitchburg State College. You might also be able to take an introductory forensic nursing course such as the American College of Forensic Examiners International’s Introduction to Forensic Nursing.
This field is so new that there is not much demand for forensic nurses in hospitals at this time. You will have better luck searching for employment in private hospitals, insurance companies or consulting firms. A forensic nursing course and subsequent degree can be financially rewarding. As a forensic nurse examiner, you can expect to earn up to $70 an hour when you are actively working on a case. Some companies will pay $4 an hour any time you have to be on call. You might also be paid on a per-case basis. No matter what, you will earn more and have a more rewarding career than a Registered Nurse.