Forensic nurses work with officials in law enforcement as well as victims of crimes and perpetrators. This profession is one of the fastest growing specialties within the field of nursing.
What Is Forensics Nursing?
It is a crucial link between the two industries of law and medicine. Although it may seem fun and interesting on television shows, the role of a forensic nurse can become emotionally difficult and multifaceted. These are the professionals who collect blood, or DNA, and other types of physical evidence from victims after they have been assaulted. They also analyze social and psychological damages, identify injuries and create educational programs in an effort to prevent future attacks.
What Should I Expect Working As A Forensics Nurse?
A forensic nurse is also responsible for uncovering the personal details of victims in lengthy interviews. They then subsequently work with police, lawyers and doctors in investigations that are based on evidence. In trials, they often provide a testimony as expert witnesses which can lead to criminal convictions. A career as a forensic nurse can open up a wide range of specialties. Some of these specialties include death investigations, human trafficking, elder mistreatment, child abuse and neglect, sexual assault and domestic violence.
What Is The Job Outlook For Forensics Nursing?
In order to become a forensic nurse, there are certain natural skills that help if you already possess them. Some of these skills include problem solving abilities, the ability to produce clear written and verbal communication and critical thinking. These are important due to the fact that forensic nurses are constantly explaining technical information to professionals. Therefore, these forensic nurses must be rigorous about clarity. Additionally, since forensic nurses act as victim advocates, they must also have a demeanor that is compassionate. In addition to working with assault victims, forensic nurses also work with violent perpetrators that are inside mental health departments and prisons. Other typical venues that forensic nurses may work in include correctional facilities, law firms, public health departments, hospitals, psychiatric facilities and community health centers. There are many nursing occupations to choose from within the field of forensic nursing.
For those who are interested in becoming a forensic nurse, it is vital that you do extensive research as to what specific sub-field you are interested in pursuing. This is important because it can help you determine what type of schooling you will obtain. As an example, forensic nurses typically specialize in one of several areas such as general forensic nursing, criminology, pediatrics, psychiatry and counseling. Depending on the direction you wish to pursue, the required pre-requisites will differ for your nursing education.
What Are The Educational Requirements For Forensics Nursing?
Once you have decided which specialty you wish to go after, begin obtaining your nursing education in order to become a registered nurse. You can obtain a degree in nursing from any approved educational institution that leads to a diploma in nursing, associate’s degree in nursing or a bachelor’s degree in nursing. There are various online nursing programs and online RN programs available for you to choose from. During the time you are completing the required nursing classes, you will also be required to complete a certain amount of hours in a clinical setting as a part of the curriculum. Once you finish your education, you must then pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Once you become a registered nurse, you can then begin training for your nursing career in forensics.
What Is The Average Salary For A Forensics Nurse?
Forensic nursing programs are available online and on-location at a variety of institutions. Once you have completed your chosen specialization, you can become certified by the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) or the Forensic Nurses Certification Board (FNCB). The amount of money you can make as a forensic nurse varies greatly and is directly dependent on your education level, geographical location, certification, experience and employer. Forensic nurses can earn anywhere from about $40,000 to over $100,000 per year.
- American Nurses Association: This is the official site of the American Nurses Association. This organization is the largest in the United States that is put together for nurses. On this site you will find careers and credentialing information, health care policy, occupational and environment information and nursing ethics.
- Registered Nurses: This site links directly to the official entry in the Occupational Outlook Handbook as provided and put together by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from the United States Department of Labor. On this page, you will find an extensive amount of information on the career of a registered nurse in general as well as more specific information on the various specialization options.
- How to Become a Forensic Nurse
- International Association of Forensic Nurses: This is the official site to the International Association of Forensic Nurses. On this site, you will find comprehensive information on the career of a forensic nurse as well as information on certification, education, resources and an option to become a member.
- Forensic Science Resource Center: This is a link to a forensic science resource center. This site provides you with a wide range of information in the field of forensics including forensics resources, and educational tools.
- Forensic Psychiatric Nurses Council: This site provides you with questions and answers as to what to expect from the Forensic Psychiatric Nurses Council. You also have information on publications, continuing education and job postings.
- Journal of Forensic Nursing: This links to the Journal of Forensic Nursing and offers you the option of subscribing to the relative journal.
- Forensic Nursing Certificate: This site provides you with information on what to expect when enrolling in an online forensic nursing program as offered at the University of California in Riverside.
- Forensic Nursing: This link provides you with information on a forensic nursing program that is offered by Boston College. This site gives you information on what to expect when enrolling in this type of program.
- MSN Forensic Nursing: This link provides you with detailed information on what to expect when enrolling in a graduate-level (nursing program). This link provides you with information on the expected curriculum, so you know what to expect.
- Forensic Nursing: This links to the Master of Science in Nursing program provided by Xavier University which gives you information on the forensic nursing specialty.