Certificate vs. Masters

  1. I'm fairly certain I want to become a Forensic Nurse. However, I'm torn about whether to go about it through a certification program or go the Master's degree route. Obviously, the certification would likely take less time & less money, not to mention no GRE. However, the MS degree would offer more prestige & maybe more income, but not sure. Can anyone offer some input on this? Either path is going to be via online learning (except for clinical learning) & will be done part-time while I continue to work full-time in the ER. Thoughts?
  2. Visit travkitty profile page

    About travkitty

    Joined: Sep '11; Posts: 63; Likes: 65
    RN; from US
    Specialty: Med-Surg, ER


  3. by   Pixie.RN
    I would start with certification, make sure it's something you really really want ... beyond "fairly certain." It's something I've been pondering as well.
  4. by   travkitty
    I just wonder if it's even worth getting the Master's if the certificate is enough.
  5. by   overtonis
    I agree with that. With any career - you should test it with least amount of money and time. If you love it...then go back for the Masters Degree. Premium now is on experience and less on education.
  6. by   travkitty
    I just started the certificate program with UC-Riverside. So far, so good!
  7. by   MommyandRN
    travkitty, that's great! Please keep us posted. I am thinking about doing it also. I noticed Kaplan doesn't have their forensic program anymore. This seems like a good certificate program.
  8. by   ldm2484
    In regards to the original question, if one were interested in FBI or that sort of direction, would a BSN plus a Forensic Nursing certificate be an adequate set of credentials?? Would this be a better idea than a Masters of Forensic Nursing?
  9. by   Pixie.RN
    Doing what with the FBI? Are you thinking crime lab? I've met a couple of people in one of our state crime labs, and they have BSNs in various sciences like Biology, Chemistry, etc. No Masters yet.
  10. by   nurse2033
    oops.. sent twice
  11. by   nurse2033
    I've got a CFN through ACFEI and am interviewing for a SANE position this week. I've also attended a Medicolegal Death Investigation class at Univ. of St. Louis (highly recommended BTW). These minimal credentials put me way ahead of my peers (as far as on paper). You don't want to spend the time getting a degree where no job exists. The vast majority of forensic nurses work as SANEs, that would be a great place to start. If you work in a locale that has a lot of forensic programs then a cert would put you up there. But if you don't have a forensic job, I wouldn't worry about the degree, unless you are willing to move and want to pursue that exclusively. Good luck.
  12. by   MommyandRN
    travkitty - how is the UC Riverside program going? Are you done yet? I would love your feedback.