[i would like to be able to shadow a forensic nurse and see what they do exactly, but i cant get ANY medical examiner's office in this state to call me back!]
I know of only a few people in a few states who have managed to get to view an autopsy. It really depends on the state and on the circumstances.
I am an in an MSN Forensic Nurse Clinical Specialist program. The university has contracts with all the agencies we do clinicals with, including the Medical Examiner's office. One of my required courses is a Forensic Pathology class, taught by the Deputy Chief Medical Examiner for the state. As part of the clinical time I have observed a number of autopsies, as well as gone out with the Death Investigators to death scenes (not always, nor even most of the time, crime scenes). This is part of the 180 clinical hrs we do with various agencies per semester (240 hrs next semester, my last).
Seeing an autopsy gives an appreciation for what force can do to the body, as well as a better understanding of natural disease processes. The pathophysiology becomes real, instead of reading about it in a book or even seeing signs and symptoms of trauma or disease in a patient. But do you need to see an autopsy to decide whether to become a forensic nurse? Absolutely not! Your best bet is just to focus on finishing nursing school
, research forensic nursing and all its sub-specialties. If you are interested in death investigation, research what the systems and processes are in your state. Is it a coroner based system or a Medical Examiner System? Or a combination? Who does death investigation in your state? What role does law enforcement play? Look into whether your state has a chapter in the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN), if it does - place membership in IAFN and then in your chapter and get involved. Find out who is doing what in your chapter, perhaps they might be able to get you on the inside track. Sometimes the circumstances can be changed by networking and who you know in this field.
If you can, take a forensic pathology course (you usually need a pathophysiology course as a pre-requisite) or a pathology course and see if you can get to see an autopsy that way. Just understand that forensic nursing is not necessarily equal to seeing an autopsy, many forensic nurses have never seen an autopsy. Once you're a nurse, and if you're still interested, look into a formal forensic nursing program where you actually get to do clinical time, preferably one in a university that has contracts with various agencies. It's very, very difficult to get into an agency, including ME, on your own.
Best of luck to you.