Forensic nursing is currently one of the fastest growing specialties in the field of nursing. Officially recognized as a specialty by the American Nurses Association in 1995, forensic nursing links medicine and law into one focused profession. Even for nurses who are already registered or have attended a BSN nursing program (bachelor of science in nursing), obtaining the proper training to practice as a forensic nurse is simply a matter of combining a few extra classes with the proper internship experiences.
What is Forensic Nursing?
Forensic nursing assesses and cares for both victims and perpetrators of crimes. A graduate who chooses to specialize in forensic nursing must complete a BSN nursing program. Cases investigated by a forensic nurse may involve: Sexual assault. Stabbings. Drug overdoses. Gunshot wounds. BSN nursing program graduates may specialize in several areas of forensic nursing. Possible occupations in forensic nursing include: Sexual assault nurse examiner. Forensic correctional nurse. Forensic geriatric nurse. Forensic legal nurse consultant. Forensic nurse investigator. Forensic pediatric nurse. Forensic psychiatric nurse.
Required Education to Practice as a Forensic Nurse
In order to practice as a forensic nurse, workers must be licensed as a registered nurse. Registration may be legally obtained through earning a hospital diploma, associate’s degree, or bachelor degree in nursing. However, employers more often prefer to hire graduates who have attended a BSN nursing program particularly for specialized areas within the field of nursing. Earning a bachelor of science degree in nursing equips nurses with the communication, leadership, and critical thinking skills that are essential in today’s health care environment.
After attending a BSN nursing program, forensic nurses typically further focus their training by taking forensic science courses in: Photography. Wound identification. Evidence preservation and collection.
Many hospitals also offer internship programs to observe practical field work. For more information on forensic nursing, students may visit the International Association of Forensic Nurses website. Students may also visit College-Pages.com, the education and career resource website, for an extensive list of available BSN nursing schools.