How Do I Become a Forensic Nurse/Role of the Forensic Nurse - page 13

This thread is to help educate those interested in becoming a Forensic Nurse as well as help define the role of the forensic nurse. There are programs that prepare the RN as a masters prepared... Read More

  1. by   brii09
    How often to you get called in? Do you deal with crime scenes or just the hospital setting?
  2. by   shoegalRN
    Quote from brii09
    How often to you get called in? Do you deal with crime scenes or just the hospital setting?
    Lately, I have been getting called in often (when I am on call) because it is getting warm outside, and there have been a few drug facilitated sexual assaults (due to drugging a drink in a social setting).

    I only deal with the hospital setting. I do my own pelvic exams, collect evidence, and order x-rays, CT's or meds.

    I work in the ER, and I make sure the pt has been medically clear before I start my exam. If they are, the docs usually let me have at it, as some of them don't like to deal with the details regarding the assault.
  3. by   RNforme12
    Hi- I'm really new to this site and can not figure out where to post my question on how to become a forensic nurse. I found your comment here, and figured this was a good place to start.

    I am a second year student at a ADN program and will receive my RN this May if all goes well. I have a previous degree in Criminal Justice at Champlain College in Vermont (bachelors) and am trying to find a NLNAC accredited program that will award me a degree in forensic nursing using past credit that I received at Champlain.

    Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
  4. by   mstica90
    Hello there,

    I'm asking you a question about the forensic nursing......

    What is the difference between of a forensic nursing and a forensic nurse investigator?

    Please get respond me as immediately, thank you.
  5. by   KC4NSICRN
    brii asked if shoegal goes to crime scenes.

    While she responded that no, she does not, in reality, the crime scene actually comes to HER! Each victim of a crime is considered a crime scene where you would observe, document, collect evidence and photograph.
    What you are doing is documenting a "picture" that will tell law enforcement exactly what that crime scene looked like, what you saw, what you collected, what you photographed. Especially in the case of a violent death, documentation is so important.

    Not only will law enforcement and the justice system need to be able to picture in their minds what was right in front of you, but if you ever have to go to court on a case, wouldn't you want the documentation to be this good?
    Now, let's take this one step further: let's say a patient dies of a violent act and comes to your ED, followed by the family. The grieving process tells us that it's important for the family to say goodbye,right? I agree, but you still have an evidentiary responsibility to perform. Short of wrapping crime scene tape around the body, you still need to balance letting the family say goodbye and protect that crime scene and not let the family disturb any evidence.

    So, what worked for me was speaking gently and succinctly to the family PRIOR to them going into the room to view the body about how important it is to protect the evidence. I would not let the nurses "prepare the body for viewing" by washing the face. If there was blood there, I would tell the family, just as you would tell them that they would be seeing the endo tube, etc. I would try to find a clean hand for them to hols and cover the rest with a sheet. If the hands were bagged, I would tell them that, too and why.

    I would station a security officer in the room if need be, also letting the family know that this is standard in cases like this. And I would go with them. I would not allow the family to uncover the patient, nor would I allow them to hang over the body: they may transfer some of their own evidence!

    I hope this helps to give you something practical today that you can use tomorrow. Good luck!
  6. by   ANurseDivided
    I am just curious, does one really need to have a ER/Trauma background to work as a Forensics nurse? I was a CV ICU nurse for 9 years which I know is not the same but just wondering. I took the Kaplan's LNC program some years ago but never pursued starting my own business because it entails a lot of leg work and I guess that I was/am not very confident in myself to market myself.

    I like the idea of a LNC moonlighting as a FN or vice-versa. I was just curious on how important it is to have the ER background. I'm 37 and not really sure if I want to move to the ED/Trauma (although I always wanted to work there) as I left the bedside approximately 7 months ago to work in an outpatient clinic.

    I think that FN speaks to me as I LOVE psych (I acutally went to nursing school so that it would pay my way to go to med school to become a psychiatrist...what was I smoking?) and I love the "whodoneit" aspect of FN. I guess that I am just interested in exploring the legal side of healthcare hence the LNC.

    Any advice would be most appreciative!!
    Thanks to all
  7. by   Fina11yKym
    I would recommend ( if money and time allows) taking some criminal justice classes at a local college ( community or univeristy) I am actually in the midst of *hopefully* finishing my BS of Criminal Justice with a Forensics Cognate and my BS of Psychology with Christian counseling from Liberty University ( I started it before i was in LPN school. I figured I might as well finish it since I am highly intrested in Forensic Nursing and I love Psychology. There are some great books out there on Forensic Nursing- they are really cheap on Amazon- one is called forensic nursing and the new role in law enforcement ( I think its maybe 3.00 with shipping) There is alos a kindle only version that is really good as well =)

  8. by   jennieb79
    Can anyone recommend some good online colleges for forensic nursing master's programs? I would like to get more information about them. I currently have a BS in Criminology and will be going to get my BSN this summer.

  9. by   jennieb79
    This is all GREAT information! Thanks so much to everyone who contributes!
  10. by   cmgnurse
    Hello. I recently graduated in May and have been working as an RN since then. I am interested in forensic nursing but am unsure of the best way to go about it. I have been told you can just go online and get certification but I've also been told you need to have at least a BSN. I've also been told you should pursue a bachelors in criminal justice? I took a look at the university of california riverside website but they state you will not be certified. Am looking for any general information that anyone will have about the best and fastest way to go about getting into this area. Would appreciate input. Thank you
  11. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from cmgnurse
    Am looking for any general information that anyone will have about the best and fastest way to go about getting into this area. Would appreciate input. Thank you
    I suggest contacting your local emergency departments to see if they have a SANE program or a forensics program. In many locations, SANE is co-located in the ED because that is where our patients typically present initially. Ask if there are any courses in the local area; some hospitals or forensics programs provide their own training in exchange for time spent on their call schedule.
  12. by   jpainter0013
    I am currently in LPN school and was interested in this area also. My question was will I have to go on and get my RN? I was already planning on doing that anyway, but if I could do this without that I might consider that also. I had wanted in the past to go to school to be an ME, but then I had kids and ya, know plans change I am very interested in this area and finding out where I would go to school for this. I live in a "smaller" town, close to Louisville, KY though so I don't know what I could do here locally, but I could possibly drive to Louisville to work if I needed too. Any info will be helpful. I have read lots on here and it has been great. Just curious. Would also like to know the best/fastest way to complete something like this. Thanks!
  13. by   jeseades
    Hello all,

    I have a situation very similar to jpainter0013. I began school with the intention of following through getting my MD and becoming an ME, but life happened. I have always been interested in forensics and the role that one can play in finding out what happened, the "why" whether suspicious or not. I am hoping as a Nurse I will still be able to follow this dream in some way. I got so excited when I discovered Forensic Nursing. There seems to be a lot of information out there as to how to go about becoming a forensic nurse. It is very confusing. I am currently working on getting my ASN. The college I am at also offers some Forensics Investigation Certification classes that I plan to take once I finish my ASN and take the NCLEX-RN. Do I need a BSN? How much and what kind of experience will I need to be able to get employment as a Forensic Nurse? My dream job would be working in a ME or Coroners office as a tech. or assistant. Any information that can be given would be great.