Beachluvr - while you're in nursing school, that needs to be your focus. Everything you learn there will come into play later when you are a forensic nurse. However, that does not mean that you cannot learn about forensic nursing while your main focus is your nursing studies. It's like having dessert with school being the main meal.
I did just that. I worked hard while in nursing school at learning pathophysiology, disease processes, meds, what affects what, and so on. At the same time, I read what I could about forensic nursing. I researched it on my school breaks. I joined the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) under their student rate and became involved in my chapter. All the while, my main focus was still on learning the art and science of nursing and getting to the point where I could take my boards.
Now it's about two years since I became a nurse. I have taken the time to get some nursing experience under my belt. I worked in med-surg, and this past year in sub-acute and long term care. I learned about the reality of disease processes and got skills down in med-surg. In sub-acute and long-term care I have learned so much more about the natural process of death, dying, dementia, and dealing with families. In another year or so, I will go back to med-surg for a bit and brush up on acute care skills and knowledge, then to the ER where I expect to eventually work clinical forensic nursing skills into my ER skills (my own area of interest in forensic nursing). As to where forensic nursing fits into my life now? I work part-time at a domestic violence shelter where I see and take care of victims of violence, I am finishing a BS in Criminal Justice (two more courses after this semester), and I am as involved as ever in IAFN (I am privileged to be a part of the planning committee for this year's Scientific Assembly in Washington DC).
So yes, you can do this. But, you need to have getting through nursing school as your primary focus right now. Then, you need to be patient and get some experience down. But look around you - do you have a state chapter you can join as a student? Research the various sub-specialties during school breaks, see what area interests you the most. Network within your chapter. And be patient. As hard as it is to wait, becoming a specialist in something takes time, experience, and patience. Good luck to you.
Quote from beachluvr
I am a 24 year old nursing student in va Beach. I just joined this forum yesterday. I am very interested in Forensic Nursing and was hoping ya'll could give me some information on what I need to do to become a Forensic Nurse. Also if you have any advice to give on the matter. I look forward to chatting with you all.