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Forensic Nursing 101

Forensic Nursing 101

Have you considered a career in forensic nursing?

Jose Fermoso | NursingLink

Before starting, it’s important to identify license requirements for your state of employment, which vary from state to state. For example, a nurse that works on a medical-surgery ward as a Navy Corpsman only qualifies for an LVN license in California and Florida.

Two certifications are available in the U.S. for forensic nursing. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) certification requires a 40-hour Sexual Assault Examiner Class and at least 40 hours of clinical training. SANE-A is for adults and adolescents focus and SANE-P for pediatrics and adolescents. To reach certification, nurses must meet eligibility of the Forensic Nursing Certification Board, which includes an oral exam.

Despite the critical and useful nature to a community’s health, not every medical facility has open positions for forensic nurses. One reason is it’s not seen as a “basic services” position in facilities with narrow budgets. Thankfully, a forensic nurse’s top-flight education qualifies you for work in other positions. You may work as a project director, an application chart analyst, a manager of Physician Relations and Community Education, or as a Pathologist.

Here are some of the main schools offering degrees in forensics, courtesy of the International Association of Forensic Nurses:

• Boston College, Masters in Forensic Nursing
• Cleveland State University, Master of Science in Nursing – Forensic Track
• Duquesne University, Master of Science in Nursing
• Fairleigh Dickinson University, Master of Science in Nursing – Forensic Specialty
• Fitchburg State College, Master of Science in Forensic Nursing
• Johns Hopkins University, Clinical Nurse Specialist
• Monmouth University West Long Branch, MSN Forensic Nursing
• Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Master of Science in Forensic Medicine
• University of Central Oklahoma, Master of Science in Forensic Science
• University of Notre Dame Australia, Graduate Diploma in Forensic Nursing
• University of Pennsylvania, Forensic Science Minor
• Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, Australia Graduate Certificate of Nursing

While forensic nursing can be a difficult career, it can also be very rewarding. If you want to feel like you are making a difference, and have an interest in both medicine and law, a career as a forensic nurse might be perfect for you!

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