What is Forensic Nursing
Definition & Information on Forensic Nursing

Curious what a forensic nurse is? Learn exactly what is forensic nursing, including job description, formal definition & forensic nursing program information

Given that it's a relatively recent addition to the job market, there's no shame in asking: What is forensic nursing?

Sure, you could probably make an educated guess about the forensic nursing definition based on its title, but there's so much more to the job than what you may think.

The forensic nurse does indeed work with one foot in the health care world and the other in the criminal justice system, acting as a kind of liaison between the two, but the duties and specialties involved with the profession have a spectacularly wide range.

But before we get into the ins and outs of the forensic nursing career, let's take a look at its beginning.

What is Forensic Nursing
History of Forensic Nurses

Forensic nursing is a young profession, only coming into existence in the last few years, but it has roots that reach back through history a few decades.

It was in the mid 1970's that training was first offered to help medical professional become fluent in the language of criminal justice.

Forensic activity helps in the gathering, inspection, and analysis of evidence at a crime scene. Many times, such evidence is of a medical nature. This includes:

  • Physical abuse markings on a victim
  • Found bodily fluids
  • Psychiatric well-being of persons involved

Since then, the forensic nurse has been working in an unofficial capacity, picking up what he or she can, here and there. But the need for such professionals has forced people to reexamine training and requirements.

Today, forensics nurses need to get special education, earning a certificate or degree in the field. This helps ensure that they are ready to deal with whatever new cases or projects come their way.

Forensic Nursing: Information on Nursing Careers

But the forensic nurse is much more than simply a health care professional who knows about the inner workings of law and order.

There are many specialties and pathways when it comes to joining the forensic nursing world. You can focus on:

  • Sexual abuse nursing
  • Gerontology nursing
  • Correctional nursing
  • Psychiatric nursing
  • And more

As a forensic nurse, you can expect to make anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000 annually, depending on your focus, tenure, and experience.

It takes a special kind of person to work as a forensic nurse. This is a complicated profession that takes great patience, attention to detail, interpersonal skills, and focus.

If you think that sounds like you, and you have a desire to make a difference in the worlds of health care and criminal justice, then this may just be the perfect job for you.

Forensic Nursing Programs & Education

In order to become a forensic nurse, you have to first get your new education. This means going back to school. Fortunately, this isn't nearly as difficult as it sounds.

Earning a certificate or degree at an online college or university is a great way to change the course of your career without disrupting your life too much.

You can create your own schedule, stay at home, and keep your day job to support yourself and your family while you work towards a new life.

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While working towards becoming a forensic nurse, you can expect to take a variety of courses, including:

  • Forensic Approaches to Blunt Force Injuries
  • Preserving a Crime Scene
  • Forensic Approaches to Domestic Violence
  • Intro to Forensic Science in a Health Care Setting

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