Forensic Nursing Career - Nursing With A Legal Twist
Forensic nursing, a fairly new field in criminal justice originating in the early
90's, links the requirements of law and medicine into a controlled methodology to obtain evidence needed in
criminal prosections and civil cases.
Do you want to be
the registered nurse trained in the emergency room to gather
and protect the evidence?
Your meticulous attention to detail and keen awareness of even the smallest pieces
of evidence can be the deciding factor in whether a violent criminal
is rightfully prosecuted.
One mistake with evidence found on a crime victim in the ER could allow a criminal
to walk free only to strike again.
The chance of this happening would be reduced if you were trained
in forensic nursing making sure the chain of custody evidence protocol is followed properly.
Your investigative skill to discover and retrieve
evidence can be a deciding factor in a big way for civil court case as well.If you answered yes, you can become a
memberof one of the fastest growing
specialties in the field of nursing, Forensic
What Is Forensic Nursing as defined by The International
Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN)
“the application of nursing science to public or legal proceedings; the
application of the forensic aspects of health care combined with the bio-psycho-social education of the registered
nurse in the scientific investigation and treatment of trauma and/or death of victims and perpetrators of abuse,
violence, criminal activity and traumatic accidents.” – IAFN 2002
Starting A Career In Forensic Nursing
A career in Forensic Nursing starts with:
- Receiving a college degree to be a registered nurse (RN) and becoming a state
- Completing selected courses available at various universities that could
Fundamentals of Forensic Nursing
Concepts in Forensic Nursing
Practicum in Forensic Nursing
with actual clinical training possibly obtained at courts, police departments, medical examiner offices,
emergency rooms, prisons, and forensic psychiatric sites
Some medical examiner's facilities across the United States have continuing
education credit forensic nursing programs for RNs, S.A.N.E. and trauma nurses, LPNs, and others in the nursing
The topics and "hands on" activities covered in most medical examiner training classes for this fairly new field of
nursing will usually include the following as well as additional topics:
- Death investigation guidelines Hands-on assisting with autopsies
- Understanding of the various types of traumatic
- Postmortem changes in bodies
- Forensic odontology and bite-mark evidence
- Overview of medical examiner operations and a class 1 trauma
- Evidence and legal considerations
- Ritualistic crime, Santeria, Palo Mayombe, Voodoo
- Suicide Patterns
- Head trauma
- Mass disaster management
- Hands On training for homicide scene processing and investigations, with
homicide and crime scene detectives
What Areas of Expertise Can A Registered Nurse Pursue In Forensics
(SANE) Nurse Examiner: Treat and provide specialized care for
Geriatric Nurses: Provide
care and investigate issues of abuse, neglect, or exploitation
Legal Nurse Consultants: Use their expertise typically in civil cases helping attorneys when the evidence in the
trial overlaps into the medical field.
Forensic Nurse Investigators: Usually found working for medical
examiners at the crime scene analyzing the evidence and conducting experiments pertaining to the victim's
Pediatric Nurses: Provide care and investigate issues of abuse,
neglect, or exploitation
Forensic Psychiatric Nurses: Provide care for mentally ill criminal
offenders as well help the courts determine if the offenders have mental illness issues preventing them
from being sane enough to stand trial
Correctional Nurses: Provide medical care for inmates at jails,
prisons or juvenile detention centers.
Forensic War/Mass Casualty: Provide care for casualties of war and
victims of mass casualties while investigating human right violations involving issues of neglect, abuse, torture
As you can see above, each specialty field in Forensic Nursing offers
a dynamic career with days filled with multiple challenges and evidence gathering.
It will be a career where what you stop from happening or discover today
can make a positive difference in the lives of thousands of people you may hopefully never have to meet.
Yes, NIZ knows you can make a difference in Forensic Nursing!