Hello

  1. 0
    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.
  2. 6 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    You need experience as a nurse first, get that under your belt.
  4. 0
    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.
  5. 0
    Thank you so much dsczephyr for your advice!!
  6. 0
    Hi dsczephyr,

    I think your advice is excellent and reflects what I myself am doing as a nursing student. I have a bachelor's degree in Forensic Science and am pursuing my second degree, an AAS in Nursing. I am in my first year as a clinical nursing student and am being as proactive as I can in my clinicals and with volunteering when I can.

    I am currenlty an active volunteer at a Level I Trauma center here in NYC and I enjoy the privilege of being on the front lines of many cases that come in to the ED, even if occasionally I am only observing. When I am not observing, I am assisting the physicians, nurses, and social workers in the ED with hands-on patient care and advocacy or assisting with research projects being conducted by the attending physicians on staff.

    I am a member of the Ememrgency Nurses Association, NSNA and am seriously considering membership in the IAFN, however, I am troubled by the lack of participation and educational opporunities in the NYC area for someone interested in forensic nursing. I know that the IAFN had a chapter in upstate NY, however, since I am in the Metropolitan area (NYC) I would love to get involved with an IAFN chapter but cannot do so because I cannot find a local chapter that I can join and be active in.

    My dream job out of nursing school would be in the ED and in Women's Health. I would love to continue on the forensic pathways, but need to become actively involved. Do you know anywhere I can find a local chapter in NYC for forensic nurses and those interested in pursuing this field? Any advice/information is highly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Melody
    :Melody:
  7. 0
    Hi Melody - I checked with a friend who's on the Board of Directors for IAFN. She believes that the New Jersey chapter might be closest to you. There's none in your immediate area (at the moment) and we think New Jersey might be closer to you than CT. If you could make your way to a NJ chapter meeting, you would probably meet up with others that would take you under their wing. And who knows, you might be one of the ones to get a NYC chapter started once you become a nurse.

    You're definitely on the right track. Keep in touch, I would be interested to hear how things are going from time to time. It would be great to see you at the Scientific Assembly down in Washington DC if classes and clinicals will allow for it. Good luck - Denise


    Quote from IMNRN2b
    Hi dsczephyr,

    I think your advice is excellent and reflects what I myself am doing as a nursing student. I have a bachelor's degree in Forensic Science and am pursuing my second degree, an AAS in Nursing. I am in my first year as a clinical nursing student and am being as proactive as I can in my clinicals and with volunteering when I can.

    I am currenlty an active volunteer at a Level I Trauma center here in NYC and I enjoy the privilege of being on the front lines of many cases that come in to the ED, even if occasionally I am only observing. When I am not observing, I am assisting the physicians, nurses, and social workers in the ED with hands-on patient care and advocacy or assisting with research projects being conducted by the attending physicians on staff.

    I am a member of the Ememrgency Nurses Association, NSNA and am seriously considering membership in the IAFN, however, I am troubled by the lack of participation and educational opporunities in the NYC area for someone interested in forensic nursing. I know that the IAFN had a chapter in upstate NY, however, since I am in the Metropolitan area (NYC) I would love to get involved with an IAFN chapter but cannot do so because I cannot find a local chapter that I can join and be active in.

    My dream job out of nursing school would be in the ED and in Women's Health. I would love to continue on the forensic pathways, but need to become actively involved. Do you know anywhere I can find a local chapter in NYC for forensic nurses and those interested in pursuing this field? Any advice/information is highly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Melody
    :Melody:
  8. 0
    There is a NYS chapter of the IAFN if you would like more information. Please go to the IAFN website.


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