The nurses who directed you to go to the ER to do forensic nursing are correct in saying that this is the place to go to really get hands on. However, in reading your replies I perceive That you are not quite comfortable in going straight into the ER right out of school. The trauma unit sounds like a great place to get your first year of nursing down and to gain confidence in your assessment skills.
I have been a nurse for a bit over two years. I went into nursing school knowing, like you, that I wanted to do forensic nursing. I also understood the value of being patient and learning how to be a nurse before trying to specialize. And so, for the past two years I have worked in med-surg, worked in sub-acute and long-term care (where I learned more about the natural process of dying than I would have anywhere else). On the forensic side of things, I worked part-time as a case manager in a domestic violence shelter and gained a state certification as a domestic violence crisis counselor. I took courses at my local community college in Criminal Justice (CJ) and learned about Rules of Evidence,and Criminal Law,, and Forensic Science. I re-certified as an EMT and gained experience responding to 911s. I also joined my State Chapter of the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) and became an active member doing whatever needed doing.
I am now finally becoming what I have been working towards. I just accepted my first ER position (and I can say that I am finally ready for that experience) and I have also been tentatively accepted into the MSN program at Quinnipiac University in the Clinical Forensic Nurse Specialist track (I still have one more course to go on my BS in Criminal Justice and formal acceptance in contingent on finishing that last course this fall). And I have become involved in the IAFN on an international basis, receiving an invitation to be a part of the planning committee for the Scientific Assembly.
I have told you all of this so that you have some ideas on what you can do to realize your dream. There is no right or wrong way to go about becoming a forensic nurse. Just research it out, see what opportunities lie around you, volunteer, and take classes and courses. And read anything and everything on forensic nursing. I would strongly recommend taking a few CJ courses so that you have an understanding of our Criminal Justice system and how it works. Most people don't really understand how it works.
Please let us know how it all works out. And the best of luck on your boards! Denise
Quote from lousue369
hi everyone! I am graduating Dec. 05' (woo hoo) and just interviewed for a trauma unit! Am very excited! I have always wanted to get into forensics. I guess my question is would the floor I would work on (trauma) while attending classes for forensic nursing benefit me in the long run?
I have already started enrollment procedures through Kaplan college for theie forensic nurse certification classes online. I am just waiting to graduate then pass boards! Eventually would like to get my bacholers in forensic nursing.
I also interviewed for a transplant floor but feel this is the route I should go.