How Do I Become a Forensic Nurse/Role of the Forensic Nurse - page 14

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   sacline

    I am 23 years old, living in the Los Angeles area as an RN-BSN. I did a little over a year of med surg nursing, and have currently been working at a pediatric hospital on the cardio ICU unit for about 4 months. I am extremely interested in forensic nursing and was hoping you could give me some advice on how to become a forensic nurse and what specific steps I need to take. Thank you!

  2. by   showe2
    I worked in the forensic unit at the state hospital. Loved it. Very very interesting unit. I would love to stay in psych nursing, but moved out of state. Pay was a lot lower.
  3. by   elizbo
    If I had a forensics degree, can i go on to become a forensic nurse??? What do I do??
  4. by   Takashi
    Hi, this is for 'cari4n6'.
    I am currently an LPN Student @ Arkansas State MH and am trying to find out more information on Forensic Nursing.
    My Career Goals Thus Far have been to finish my LPN, take Criminology Courses and Child Growth & Development Courses, then get my RN and work towards being a Pediatric Forensic Nurse. Yet, recently after considerable talking with businesses, and police depts in my area, i have yet to find anyone who would even hire one. other than the county coroner, and i want to help the victims before they become... well.. dead victims. im simply hoping you can help me figure things out. or if anything, point me in the right direction.

    any assistance would be quite appreciated.
    Last edit by Takashi on Jun 3, '13
  5. by   EsMo18
    Horrible if you're in Tucson. Been wanting to do Forensic Nursing for many years but there are no jobs here.
  6. by   sirI
    Quote from EsMo18
    Horrible if you're in Tucson. Been wanting to do Forensic Nursing for many years but there are no jobs here.
    Are you educated as a Forensic Nurse, EsM18?

    Have you tried presenting the need for a nurse (SANE/SAFE specialist especially) to the hospital where you are employed? How about some of the law enforcement agencies? The need is there. You should write up a presentation about the need for this specialty area in your city. You never know who will support your idea. Especially if you present this to some of the clubs/organizations in your city. A support person is desperately needed in this area.

    Please read the new Article I just wrote on Forensic Nursing. You might be able to utilize some of what I reviewed in this Article to help your city understand the importance of Forensics.

    The Forensic Nurse

    And, I hope you can get others to listen to just how important these nurses are needed.
  7. by   margaux_fbi
    Quote from cari4n6
    This is a re-post of a message I left in another section but it still applies:
    I have been a forensic nurse examiner for 16 years and am a Board Certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner since they gave the first exam in 2002. I have worked in 3 SANE programs and built another one from the ground up until I started my own sexual assault business in 2003. Many nurses are drawn to the specialty until their pager goes off at 0300 in the morning. It is a very demanding and fulfilling specialty but don't go into it if your idea is to 'help' victims or 'get the bad guy.' It is all about being objective and meticulously collecting evidence. Patient assessment is foremost and it takes a full time knowledge base for what is usually a part time job. Don't give up your regular job if you have to support yourself. We appear in court and must have excellent writing and verbal skills. You must have the stamina and endurance to do several exams in a row, which happens from time to time. Each exam takes between 2 and 3 hours for the patient and 3 to 5 hours for the nurse examiner.
    I teach a sexual assault examiner course out of the University of California, Riverside, Extension. A few of my students are doing their internship with me.
    A 'rape kit' is the equipment an assailant might bring to the scene to commit his crime. (although this type of assailant is rare) I use a sexual assault evidence collection kit (SAE kit). Most reported assaults are by people who know each other, use poor judgment while drinking, elevate their risk factor, etc. The real stranger assault is rare.
    We work very independently so a good background and foundation in nursing; women's health, emergency department are very desirable.
    If you are not influenced by the TV shows and you like hard work, are flexible and enjoy unpredictability, give it a try.

    I have been so pumped with getting a degree in Forensic Nursing (is the term degree right?) until I read this comment. I have been planning on becoming a Forensic Nurse so that eventually, given the time and experience, I would be able to establish this rare specialty in our country. But now,...hmmm, oh well, I still want to be one!
  8. by   jenjenfuturern
    Hi everyone. I am currently a 3rd semester nursing student in an ADN program in California. Nursing was a career change for me as I already have my Bachelor's degree in Politics and was a victim advocate for almost 10 years. I have testified in court numerous times and also supported the victim during their SA exams. Another part of my old career was being on call and working nights and holidays. We were also dispatched out to calls by various law enforcement agencies. So, given my past it would make sense to become a SART nurse. My question is do I get certified first before applying for this position or do I apply and then get certified? It seems like a perfect blend of my two interests.
  9. by   slimz101
    I'm a Graduate nurse in the Caribbean about to become a RN and I'm really interested in this speciality but I have no clue if there are any forensic nurse in Caribbean.
  10. by   sirI
    Quote from slimz101
    I'm a Graduate nurse in the Caribbean about to become a RN and I'm really interested in this speciality but I have no clue if there are any forensic nurse in Caribbean.
    If I am not mistaken, there are Caribbean nurses who are members with the International Association of Forensic Nurses. However, I tried to find chapters, but could not. Maybe try and contact them to see what is available there.

    Good luck.
  11. by   slimz101
    Thanks for your help.
  12. by   janielleq
    Although, I'm still taking my pre-reqs for nursing I can't wait to advance into forensic nursing. I was originally working on my degree in forensic technology at my local cc but my guidance counselor suggested I apply and complete rn first then circle back. Since there are so many certificates in forensic nursing should I even complete the AS in forensic technology? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  13. by   RNHop
    Hey everyone! I am currently an RN working on the Rehab unit at a hospital in my area with my Associates. I have been putting off getting my BSN until I really figured out what I want to specialize in. I only have 1 year experience so far. I am very interested in this field. More of the crime scene investigation, evidence collection side. I read through a lot of the threads, but couldnt really find any interest in this part of forensic nursing. I see a lot about SANE adult and pediatric. I am am leaning towards being a forensic nurse investigator. I know where I live now, the need isnt here....small little town! But we are moving in 3 years to a much bigger city. So during this 3 years, I am trying to get all my schooling in. I already have undergrad debt, so am trying to decide the best route to take without incurring a lot more debt. I was thinking certificate program would be a less expensive option. Do you think I am on the right path?? Sorry for the rambling!