What is a Forensic Nurse?

What is a Forensic Nurse?The great thing about becoming a nurse is that there are dozens of areas you can take your career into when you gain additional credentials and seek further education. One worthwhile option is forensic nursing. Forensic nursing is a specialization of nursing that works to bridge the gap between law enforcement and healthcare. A forensic nurse applies the knowledge and experience of nursing to criminal investigations and legal issues. To help you understand whether this type of nursing is for you, below is an overview of forensic nursing.

Forensic Nursing Overview

Being a forensic nurse is an exciting, challenging, and worthy career. According to Boston College, forensic nurses work to prevent crime, violence, and injuries while also advancing nursing sciences, developing policies, and collaborating with social services and criminal investigations to provide better care to victims. Furthermore, forensic nurses are well versed in the ethical, racial, and cultural basis of violence in order to perform their job to the best of their abilities.

Necessary Skills

Forensic nursing is an extremely trying job. Those that work as forensic nurses must be able to handle severe and often traumatic injuries and recovery periods of victims of violence. In addition to this, they are also responsible for collecting evidence and gaining testimonies of victims. Due to these responsibilities, forensic nurses must be meticulously organized, able to connect with victims of violence, empathic, critical thinkers, and able to handle traumatic and serious situations.

Becoming a Forensic Nurse

According to Discover Nursing, there are several steps in the process of becoming a forensic nurse. Upon completing your Associate’s Degree in Nursing or your Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing, you will need to pass your National Council Licensure Examination, which provides you with the ability to be a certified nurse (see: How Do I Prepare For My Nursing Board Exam). Many places of employment require that you gain some experience working as a registered nurse and pass the Pediatric or Adolescent/Adult Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Certification Exam. This exam provides you with the credentials of a Certified Nurse Examiner. A few programs offer a graduate degree in the field. This would expand your career options, boost your credentials, and provide you with a higher salary.

Salary Expectations

The main factors that influence your salary are experience, credentials, and education. The median yearly salary for a forensic nurse is $54,000. However, you can easily earn more by getting a master’s degree, gaining more credentials, and having more experience in the field.

Working as a forensic nurse is an extremely exciting career. It is the bridge between the legal process and the nursing field. It allows you to help victims of trauma and violence heal and recover in a safe environment. A forensic nurse is an individual that is a major asset to legal and medical institutions, and becoming one truly is an honor.