Quote from alison-z
I am interested in studying murders, deaths etc. I thought the forensic Nursing would be interesting. What is the differences in Nurse forensics and criminal Justice Forensics? I appreciate it if anybody can give me any information.
Before I was a nurse, and before I started my degree in Criminal Justice (CJ), I was a Forensic Science Major. Required courses included some CJ courses such as Intro to CJ, Criminal Law, Principles of Criminal Investigation, Crime Scene Investigation, Basic and Advanced Forensic Science Laboratory. Other required courses included two semesters of General Chemistry, Calculus I, II, and III, General and Human Biology, Immunology with Lab, Genetics with Lab or Physical Chem with Lab, Organic Chem I and II with Lab, Quantitative Analysis with Lab, Instrumental Methods of Analysis with Lab, Synthetic Methods in Chem, General Physics with Lab, Mechanics, Heat and Waves with Lab, and Electromagnetism and Optics with Lab. This description does not include the university required core curruculum courses or the computer courses. It was also recommended that you combine this major with either a Chemistry major or a Biology major - and that entailed even more lab courses. In other words - you were educated to be a scientist who works in a crime lab.
This is different from Criminal Justice. As a CJ major, I have taken (or am taking) Intro to CJ, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Basic Criminal Investigation, Rules of Evidence and Procedure, Scientific Methods in CJ, Quantitative Applications of CJ, Criminology, Intro to Forensic Science with Lab, Advanced Forensic Science with Lab, Crime Scene Investigation and Pattern Evidence, Advanced Investigative Techniques. I have also taken (or am taking) Victimology, Substance Abuse in Corrections, Correctional Treatment Programs, Victim Services, Domestic Violence, and Forensic Photography. Those in Law Enforcement (those who manage crime scenes) are not typically to be found in the forensic science field, but rather the CJ field - in terms of education.
If you are one of the ones who watch CSI (and other shows like it), you need to know that you would absolutely flunk a basic forensics test if you based it on your knowledge of the field from that show. Those shows exist for entertainment purposes and are not reality.
There are very few nurses in Death Investigation, and fewer still who deal with murders and such. That is the field of Law Enforcement. The only nurse I know who is involved took a state police exam, became a state trooper, and after more than ten years of law enforcement - actually became a homicide detective. Others in death investigation usually become coroners (and they deal with mostly natural deaths), or work for the ME. You will not be dealing with murders in that setting, but mostly natural and accidental deaths.
Clinical Forensic Nursing is usually done in the ER. It does entail knowledge of evidence collection procedures and forensic photography. Those who do this type of work have an understanding of patterned injuries, patterns of injuries, mechanisms of injuries and how histories do and do not match up with the injury, intentional vs unintentional injuries, screening mechanisms for violence, documentation, and the like. You can gain this knowledge through several means: forensic nursing courses at a university (including those on-line), attendance at conferences and seminars (which are frequently held throughout the country), there are books out there on forensic nursing, and even doing what I do - which is do a major in CJ and combine it with nursing skills.
I know this is long, but I hope it has helped.