About the Kaplan Forensics program...

  1. 1
    I am an RN working in the ER. I absolutely LOVE my job and have no intention of leaving the ER. I'm a certified trauma junkie and all of my studies are geared towards continuing my education relating to trauma. I'm taking the CEN exam next Monday and then have every intention of leaping into forensics! It's an area of nursing that really excites me and I can clearly see how it would help our department and also the patients to have a certified forensics nurse at the bedside (etc). There are no forensics nurses prsently at our ER. We get PLENTY of trauma and I suspect that much evidence is lost in our routine handling of the trauma patient. I intend to do something about this.

    I have 24 years of nursing experience with 11 of them in the ER. I have been looking around for a good program and am wondering about the Kaplan one. It is my understanding that this program will result in a certificate of completion after which I will be eligible to sit for the CFN exam.

    Does Kaplan have a good program? By good, I mean will I learn the things I need to learn and have a good understanding of forensics nursing? I'm sure that the cost the program does not include study resources, so where does one obtain these study resources? How is the testing done? Some online places have you write zillions of papers for evaluation of your learning and some places have you go to a testing center to take multiple choice exams to evaluate your learning.

    Have any of you actually TAKEN the Kaplan program?? I'd sure love to know your experience with it and if you felt prepared to sit for the CFN exam.
    elprup likes this.
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  4. 54 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    Hello, NativeSundance,

    Good to read of your interest in Forensic Nursing. You sound as if you've a world of experience that will serve you well in this career path.

    There are members here who have done this course. I'm sure you will receive mixed responses just as with any program for any career path.

    I know the ones I've talked to are happy with their choice. The only text that you have to purchase is the book, "Forensic Nursing", by Virginia Lynch. Kaplan, if I'm not mistaken, assist you with your preceptor rotation in the field. And, the instructors for the course are very approachable from what I gather.

    Here is a link to the Kaplan forensic program:

    http://www.kaplan.edu/hcp/programs/fnMain.aspx

    Course content:
    Forensic Physical Assessment and Evidence Collection
    Forensic Psychological Assessment, Interview, Report Writing
    Death Investigation
    The Courtroom Experience
    Crisis Intervention and the Planning and Implementation of Follow-Up Care
    http://www.kaplan.edu/hcp/programs/f...14171712786500

    Contact number:

    1-866-542-4042


    Good luck with your decisions and hope other Kaplan grads chime in with helpful info.
    Last edit by sirI on Sep 20, '07
    NativeSundance likes this.
  6. 0
    Thanks for your quick response! Much appreciated!

    One of the things that I am concerned about is that I do not want just SANE or SAFE certification. I want CFN certification, which is only available through ACFEI. In looking through their requirements, it appears that I must do some clinical time (in addition to completion of formal education) to qualify for the exam. If I do the online Kaplan program, how does one get the hands on experience required to qualify for the exam? Certainly, I get plenty of hands on experience in our trauma rooms every night at work, but this is not "official" clinical time...or is it? Does this count? Who would verify it and how? If it does not count, how can I get "official" clinical time?

    Would the Kaplan program qualify me for the exam from the formal education perspective?

    I noticed that ACFEI also has a program in place for training, although I don't know any of the details of it yet. Do you know how their program works? Is it online? I have a farm and a full time job making it difficult time-wise to travel to a brick and mortar school. Online works well for me.

    If money is not a concern, what would you recommend? I'm old, or I'd go back to school for a masters in forensics. Must settle for certification in it instead!
  7. 0
    I have long had an interest in Forensic Nursing, but never took the plunge. Have done lots of research on jobs etc... Finally I decided it was time and made some contacts. Kaplan's was a very hard sell. I came real close to signing up but after reading here and investigating online, I decided against them . I am going to go to a local university that does an online SANE/SAFE course with only three on campus classes mandated and then 90 hrs,,I believe, before you can take the national exam. It is around $1500 cheaper then Kaplans also. The only bad thing is that it does not start until January. This does give me time to bone up on some skills(been out of school way too long).
  8. 1
    Quote from NativeSundance
    Thanks for your quick response! Much appreciated!

    One of the things that I am concerned about is that I do not want just SANE or SAFE certification. I want CFN certification, which is only available through ACFEI. In looking through their requirements, it appears that I must do some clinical time (in addition to completion of formal education) to qualify for the exam. If I do the online Kaplan program, how does one get the hands on experience required to qualify for the exam? Certainly, I get plenty of hands on experience in our trauma rooms every night at work, but this is not "official" clinical time...or is it? Does this count? Who would verify it and how? If it does not count, how can I get "official" clinical time?

    Would the Kaplan program qualify me for the exam from the formal education perspective?

    I noticed that ACFEI also has a program in place for training, although I don't know any of the details of it yet. Do you know how their program works? Is it online? I have a farm and a full time job making it difficult time-wise to travel to a brick and mortar school. Online works well for me.

    If money is not a concern, what would you recommend? I'm old, or I'd go back to school for a masters in forensics. Must settle for certification in it instead!
    Hello,

    The ACFEI site clearly defines what the requirements are to sit for certification as forensic nurse. As I understand this, your nursing supervisor (in the ED) can sign off to validate your post-course clinical experience:

    Have supervised and documented clinical experience in any area of forensic nursing practice.

    Validate his or her current forensic nurse competency by providing supporting documentation (a clinical experience validation form) signed by an appropriate clinical authority, such as a forensic mentor, employer, or nursing supervisor.
    http://www.acfei.com/programs_cfn.ph...n=Requirements

    The ACFEI does accept Kaplan's program as one of the requirements to sit for certification. Also, ACFEI has stated in the past that clinical experience in the ED is accepted if your supervisor signs off that you've worked in a general area of forensic nursing when in the ED.

    In the near future, ACFEI will be offering the certification online. I think this will be available by the end of the year.

    Just call ACFEI and they are more than happy to answer any question that you might have:

    Toll Free: 1-800-423-9737

    Good luck and if I can help you with anything else, please post here.
    Last edit by sirI on Sep 20, '07
    cmo421 likes this.
  9. 1
    Quote from cmo421
    I have long had an interest in Forensic Nursing, but never took the plunge. Have done lots of research on jobs etc... Finally I decided it was time and made some contacts. Kaplan's was a very hard sell. I came real close to signing up but after reading here and investigating online, I decided against them . I am going to go to a local university that does an online SANE/SAFE course with only three on campus classes mandated and then 90 hrs,,I believe, before you can take the national exam. It is around $1500 cheaper then Kaplans also. The only bad thing is that it does not start until January. This does give me time to bone up on some skills(been out of school way too long).
    Hello, cmo421,

    If, after you've completed the SANE/SAFE program, and you want certification as a forensic nurse, you can also sit for certification with ACFEI. ACFEI accepts SANE/SAFE certification as fulfilling the requirement for clinical experience.

    Look at the requirements for certification as CFN:

    http://www.acfei.com/programs_cfn.ph...n=Requirements

    Good luck with your plans with the SANE/SAFE career path.
    Last edit by sirI on Sep 20, '07
    cmo421 likes this.
  10. 0
    I called Kaplans today to discuss their forensics program. I went through this lengthy interview process to be "accepted" into their program, although I suspect everyone who calls is accepted. They informed me that CFN is not a nationally recognized certification and is only offered through a school that teaches forensics (ACFEI) rather than a 3rd party organization. She also tells me that the ACFEI program is not accredited, while Kaplans is. Then it is mentioned that they are about to close the registration for the forensics program and will not re-open it for several more months (like about 8 months). I am told I have about 2 days to decide. I suspect that this is just a pressure tactic, so didn't leap on it yet.

    Have ANY of you had personal experience with Kaplans? Is it worth the money? Is it a good program? What did you do with your education?

    Do any of you have any comment about any of the info I posted here? Is it accurate? Any input appreciated! Thanks!
  11. 0
    Kaplans has used this pressure tactic in the past with nurses wanting to do their LNC program.

    Not sure if it is the case this time, but just beware of this type of practice.
  12. 0
    Quote from NativeSundance
    I called Kaplans today to discuss their forensics program. I went through this lengthy interview process to be "accepted" into their program, although I suspect everyone who calls is accepted. They informed me that CFN is not a nationally recognized certification and is only offered through a school that teaches forensics (ACFEI) rather than a 3rd party organization. She also tells me that the ACFEI program is not accredited, while Kaplans is. Then it is mentioned that they are about to close the registration for the forensics program and will not re-open it for several more months (like about 8 months). I am told I have about 2 days to decide. I suspect that this is just a pressure tactic, so didn't leap on it yet.

    Have ANY of you had personal experience with Kaplans? Is it worth the money? Is it a good program? What did you do with your education?

    Do any of you have any comment about any of the info I posted here? Is it accurate? Any input appreciated! Thanks!


    Same with me when I called. "Only two spots left" 'I will personnally recommend u and run to the registras office and hold u a spot"! I almost bought it,bailed. Going to a local program that offers the whole deal. Good luck!
  13. 0
    Thanks for your responses! I was pretty sure that was all just a bunch of hooey, so didn't panic when she told me that. I just talked to them yesterday and already today there is a message on the machine from them. I gave them my alternate number (we have two phone lines) so I wouldn't be bothered all the time on my phone line that actually rings. She wanted my cell number and also my work number which I declined giving her.

    I ordered the book by Virginia Lynch from Amazon this morning that Kaplans uses. I am likely to start their program soon. I wish I could talk to ANYONE who has gone through the program, but have not had success thus far. One little concern I have is #9 on the contract one has to sign with Kaplans that states they can change the course version at any time with only 90 days notice and that we as students may then have to retake some portions of the program and retest and possibly purchase more books etc. Wouldn't be overly crazy about revisiting ground already traveled to redo it all. Also concerned regarding the weird pressure tactics they use to get you to enroll. Obviously students are interested or they wouldn't be calling. The whole interrogation to see if they will "accept" you as a student is ridiculous. I feel nearly certain that ANYONE who calls expressing an interest is "accepted". Also, I'm not sure about their accreditation. It's from a company I've not heard of before. I was expecting NLN or something.

    If I do enroll in this program, as I probably will (for a variety of reasons not the least of which is that I'm a night shifter and it is difficult for me to be awake and intelligent during the day when regular schools operate), I will post in this thread regularly so that all who follow behind me and wonder what the Kaplan program is REALLY like will be able to read of my first hand experience and have a good idea of what they are getting into before signing on the dotted line.


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