Forensic Nurse wannabe!!

  1. 0
    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.

    thanks!!
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  4. 0
    You would get more experience in the ER for forensics...............that is where you will witness things firsthand, by the time that they get to the trauma unit, they have usually gone to surgery, or have multiple other procedures already completed.

    Forensics deals with initial visualization of a wound or orifice. Once it has been treated, your evidence is destroyed. That is one of the reasons that so many pictures are taken.
  5. 0
    Quote from suzanne4
    You would get more experience in the ER for forensics...............that is where you will witness things firsthand, by the time that they get to the trauma unit, they have usually gone to surgery, or have multiple other procedures already completed.

    Forensics deals with initial visualization of a wound or orifice. Once it has been treated, your evidence is destroyed. That is one of the reasons that so many pictures are taken.
    Thanks for the info! I thought about the ER right out of school. I figured if after a year of trauma doesn't work out for me for some some reason I can always transfer to the ER.

    I will definitly do whatever I need to do to become a forensic nurse within the next 2-3 years. I am willing to try anything that will give me experience.

    Tks. so much!
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    The trauma unit is great for experience as a nurse, but for specific forensic things, the ER is much better. That is where most lacerations are repaired, gun shot wounds can be seen close up before they go to the OR.

    I remember in the old days when we would have contests to figure out the the size of the gun before the police arrived and confirmed our thoughts.
  7. 0
    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.

    thanks!!
    I know this sounds trite, but, you can view CSI (any of them) and see exactly what happens before the body is even taken to the morgue. (I know I know.......TV is TV). It gives one the idea of what goes on before anything is done to it. I find this field very interesting, too.

    Working in the ED is great experience.

    Let us know how things turn out for you.
    Last edit by sirI on Aug 14, '05
  8. 0
    Quote from suzanne4
    The trauma unit is great for experience as a nurse, but for specific forensic things, the ER is much better. That is where most lacerations are repaired, gun shot wounds can be seen close up before they go to the OR.

    I remember in the old days when we would have contests to figure out the the size of the gun before the police arrived and confirmed our thoughts.
    Thanks again for the input! I figured trauma was good for the experience. I am keen on the forensics part so ER here I come. I was also encouraged to shadow the team at our ER while getting certified so I definitly will do!!!

    Are you in the field of forensics? And for how long?

    Just curious!!
  9. 0
    Quote from siri
    I know this sounds trite, but, you can view CSI (any of them) and see exactly what happens before the body is even taken to the morgue. (I know I know.......TV is TV). It gives one the idea of what goes on before anything is done to it. I find this field very interesting, too.

    Working in the ED is great experience.

    Let us know how things turn out for you.
    Actually I watch it faithfully and everyone of them as much as possible (between clinics, studying, teen sons, hubby, ect.)

    I can't wait to get started on the certification after I take RN boards in Jan.!

    tks. alot!!
  10. 0
    What exactly does a forensic nurse do? Do they work hand in hand with the police department? What type of education do you have to have, a BSN? And then what do you have to take after you become a RN to become a forensic nurse. How long is that school? Is there a big pay difference vs other types of nursing?


    Sorry for so many questions. I'm very curious
  11. 0
    Susan,

    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.

    thanks!!
  12. 0
    Quote from dsczephyr
    Susan,

    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
    Thanks Denise and every1 else for your thoughts! I completely agree about the CJ classes. I am actually enrolling PT (not sure where yet) for CJ classes after graduation in Dec. and am also taking the Kaplan Forensic certification online after December. Have been looking at it for a few years.

    Thanks again!! Susan


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