Anybody familiar with Kaplan College Forensic Nursing Certification?

  1. Hi- I hope you forensics nurses can help me. I just talked to an admissions rep for Kaplan's Forensic Nursing cert. program, and I was curious to know the low-down from those of you with experience with this. She said she hadn't seen a background as good as mine in a long time (don't know if she was blowing smoke up my butt, or if she really meant My background is in level 1 trauma, and correctional nursing. I just finished the didactic portion of a distance RN program at Excelsior, and we have SANE nurses at my hospital. I've emailed the HR dept. at work with questions about who they hire, etc.

    What I need to know from those of you with experience in this area is:

    Have any of you done this program? Is it a good one, or are there better ones out there? I can get preceptorship here in my area, too- which is a plus. Any advice out there? I'd really like to do this, and I don't really want to freelance once I'm done. I already owe time to my hospital (where I'm happy) for this round of tuition reimbursement. And if they cover this cert., I'll owe them more.

    How doable is this (or any) forensics certification? I already know I can dedicate myself to a distance program and have the discipline to carry it through. But I will have to work full time while I'm doing it.

    Also, what are the pros and cons of being a forensics nurse? Aside from the gore (which I can handle), and the emotional hardship (which I have been working on anyway) do any of you regret doing this? I really think I have found my desire in nursing here, and I think my previous experience has led up to this.

    Any info/advice would be greatly appreciated. I really want this, but I want to go into it with my eyes wide open, before I dedicate at least a year to it. Thanks in advance!

  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   BarbPick
    I am reading from my Certificate. It says that the Designation of Forensic Nurse Specialist has been acheived and is approved by
    The Florida Bar
    The Florida Board of Nursing
    InterQual Certified Professional in Utilization Review(CPUR)
    InterQual Certified Professional in Utilization Management(CPUM)
    American Academy of Medical Legal Consultants (CLC)
    Healthcare Quality Certification Board (CPHQ)
    Commission for Case Management Certification

    You might want to inquire who approves their course. I paid in state tuition for mine.
  4. by   BBFRN
    Thanks, Barb- you've given me a start as to what credentials I need to look for. Did you do a distance certifcation, or a local one? If it was a distance program, do you mind telling me which one you did, and how your job prospects went after you received your certification? Do you work for a hospital or coroner's office, or do you freelance?
  5. by   BarbPick
    Mine is given once a year from the state medical examiner. I paid the same tuition as if I were in Community College. I do not feel this should be done by distance. You have to see it to learn it.
    I took the Medical Legal Consultants course and I really mised out of great presenters on the local level, plus there was no one to ask questions.
    I am more of a consultant. I am called out to assess crime scenes, I usually find things other miss. I am also a SANE.
    The only real market for full time forensic nursing is in the North East.

    Contact the International Association of forensic nurses:

    Take it from there
  6. by   BBFRN
    Thanks so much, Barb. I'm checking out my BON's requirements right now- we only have SANE approval in our state, it seems. They don't cite specific programs that they accept, but here's their requirements for any SANE course:

    Kaplan does contract with local preceptors here to show me the ropes after I complete the didactics per KY requirements, so I think I'd be in the clear (maybe). I'm checking with the Board to see what their recommendations are. If I can do a local program, I'd rather do that- if it doesn't conflict with my work commitments.

    And that website is going to be extremely helpful- thanks!
  7. by   BarbPick
    my last comment, I had to go every other saturday for what seemed like a life time.
  8. by   BBFRN
    Lol...I'm fine with that kind of schedule- I have no life, anyway.

    Did it take more than a year for you to complete the program?
  9. by   BarbPick
    Originally posted by lgflamini
    Lol...I'm fine with that kind of schedule- I have no life, anyway.

    Did it take more than a year for you to complete the program?
    No it just felt like it. There were so many clinicals and labs.
  10. by   BBFRN
    Lol...that makes sense. I just emailed the SANE coordinator to see if they accept Kaplan grads to sit for board certification. It looks like the cert. is so new here in KY that they don't even cite programs they accept. I'd just have to prove that the school met the didactic/clinical areas and hours, then apply for certification, and take an additional 5 CE's associated with it to sit for the cert. I also asked if they could recommend any schools if they don't accept Kaplan. I also just found a Ky Assn of Sexual Assault Program website.

    It does look like the only jobs for forensics nurses here are as SANE nurses- and that's only for victims 14 yrs old and up. I wnoder why they're not using them in other areas like murder investigations, etc? I work in a trauma 1 hospital- you'd think there would be room for forensics nurses in the other areas too- outside of rape cases. Hmmm...
  11. by   psi464ad
    Hey, you never know who will need you for crime scene investigations. First talk to the local police authorities or the FBI. You can be listed as a free lance forensic specialist and who knows who may call you.
    Adventure is what your after. Right?
  12. by   Katnip
    I've talked to a lot of folks in the forensic field. They all say that the Kaplan certificate isn't very well respected. They strongly encourage a master's degree in forensic science or forensic nursing.
  13. by   BBFRN
    Thanks guys, but this is an old thread. I have decided not to do this (SANE would be the only option for me, and I don't want to do that). I'm perfectly happy where I am right now.
  14. by   veetach
    Quote from lgflamini
    Thanks guys, but this is an old thread. I have decided not to do this (SANE would be the only option for me, and I don't want to do that). I'm perfectly happy where I am right now.
    Just my humble opinion here, but SANE is an extremely rewarding field. I have been a SANE for 6 years and and we work very closely with our local law enforcement officials routinely. If you are interested in forensic evidence collection SANE is a great place to start.