How to Choose a Forensic Nursing School
Although forensic nursing is a new career choice for many nurses, there are schools that offer programs and teach students all they need to know about collecting evidence and working with victims and offenders who need medical care. However, because it is a new profession, it is important that you take your time and choose a good school that will prepare you to work in the field. The last thing you want to do is spend money on a degree but not have the skills necessary to be successful in your new career. Here are a few tips for choosing the right school for you.
The first thing you need to decide is if you want to go to an online school to go to a regular campus. Each option has benefits and disadvantages. Taking online classes at forensic nursing schools provides a level of convenience that brick and mortar campuses just can’t compete with. You will be able to study at your own pace in the comfort of your home which is great for people who have a family or work full time. On the other hand, if you are a person who needs hands on experience, then a regular college or university campus is best for you.
The next thing you should consider is the degrees that are available at the forensic nursing schools. You can earn a basic certificate in forensic nursing at each school that offers this degree program. However, you can also specialize in specific subjects. Additional degrees you can obtain include correctional nursing specialist, forensic clinical nurse specialist, forensic gerontology specialist, forensic nurse investigator, sexual assault nurse examiner, and forensic psychiatric nurse. Do research on each of these areas of expertise to find out which one appeals to you and then make sure the school you are considering offers a degree program that will teach you all you need to know.
When choosing from the many forensic nursing schools, you will also want to consider how long it will take you to earn your degree. The average length of time to earn a forensic nursing certificate is 12 months. However, some schools have a two year degree program and others have accelerated programs that allow you to earn your degree in four months. Getting a degree fast can be helpful if you are looking to change careers quickly. Consider all of the variable as well as your lifestyle and pick the school that best fits your goals.