Are there really jobs for nurse death investigators?

  1. I am an traveling ICU nurse interested in forensics, specifically the investigational aspect, but are there really many job opportunities out there and what specific credentials/education are needed?
  2. Visit RNonROAD profile page

    About RNonROAD

    Joined: May '00; Posts: 1
    ICU Nurse


  3. by   judymaybritton

    I am applying to take a program in the fall to become a nurse-medical examiner. All the county in my state are replacing all the physicians with professional nurses.

    Sounds like something I have always wanted to do. And it beats being floated from ICU to pedi or even being sent home.
  4. by   maikranz
    Originally posted by RNonROAD:
    I am an traveling ICU nurse interested in forensics, specifically the investigational aspect, but are there really many job opportunities out there and what specific credentials/education are needed?
    If I am not mistaken, I think UKentucky has a Forensic Nursing specialty and I think it is either the only one or the only one on the East Coast. Sounds interesting.
    Good luck!
  5. by   pjh
    If you find anything out about Forensic nursing courses please let me know, I'm a travel nurse also and am looking for a home but i'm getting burnt, I really enjoy the sound of forensic nursing would have to beat the floor. pj
  6. by   almadkol
    i am a nursing student and i am really interested in forensic nursing as well. the only school i know about is in fitchburg, massachusetts and it is a master's program in forensic nursing. just thought i'd pass that info along. they have a website, although i don't have the address right off hand.
  7. by   osiris7
    The address for Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts is:
    They also offer a certificate in forensic case work.

  8. by   Arcadia1025
    Hi, I know that the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs has a Forensics Program. Im not sure off hand what the nursing school is called there but they have Bachlors of Health Science/Forensics Option, both Undergrad and Grad cert. And they have a Forensic Clinical Nurse Specialist Program there. The website is If you check under MSN/BSN/Health Science Programs you will find info on this. Good Luck

    [This message has been edited by Arcadia1025 (edited November 22, 2000).]
  9. by   John R. McPhail
    Forensic Nursing is not JUST DEATH INVESTIGATION AND SEXUAL ASSAULT Every Nurse in every area Must have Forensic Skills.


    Patients who are possible victims of alleged or suspected abuse or neglect have special needs relative to the assessment process.

    Intent of PE.8
    As part of the initial screening and assessment process, information and evidentiary material(s) may be collected that could be used in future actions as part of the legal process. The hospital has specific and unique responsibilities for safeguarding such material(s).

    Policies and procedures define the hospital's responsibility for collecting, retaining, and safeguarding information and evidentiary material(s). The following are documented in the patient's medical record:
    - Consents from the patient, parent, or legal guardian, or compliance with other applicable law;
    - Collecting and safeguarding evidentiary material released by the patient;
    - Legally required notification and release of information to authorities; and
    - Referrals made to private or public community agencies for victims of abuse.

    Hospital policy defines these activities and specifies who is responsible for carrying them out.
  10. by   MD_Rn
    This past January I took the Medicolegal Death Investigator's Training Course at St. Louis University. It was a wonderful course, very informative with lots of great speakers and photos. However, when I tried to put my new skills to use... I fell flat. There is a huge number of investigators out there looking for jobs and training really makes no difference, they want the hands on expereince. Even in Baltimore, where we average close to 300 homicides only a year (not to mention all the other unattended deaths and MVAs), there were no jobs to be found. There are alot of great training programs out there, another great one out of Dade Cty Florida. But it is very difficult to get a job. I was once told by some one in the field, that they had an investigator retiring in 2 yrs and already had 300 applications! Good Luck and Be persistant.
  11. by   Terri Norris
    I am currently aa SANE/Forensic Nurse Examiner in an community-based emergency department. I also completed the Medico-legal Death Investigation course a couple of years ago. I did apply for, and was offered a position through our coroner's office. I too, was suprised to note that there were over 200 applications for the postition. The coroner did tell me that the majority of applicants had no experience, and that many were retired law enforcement officers. In my geographic area, the pay level is quite low ($26,0000), and I couldn't justify a 50% pay cut, along with increased call hours.....maybe when I retire from my nursing career I'll consider death investigations as a part-time venture.
  12. by   Bedellia
    I am in the Quinnipiac University Graduate Forensic Nursing Program...Ct. has hired one nurse in the OCME..I will also be looking for a job in death investigation, in either Ma., R.I., or Ct. So far not too many M.E.s believe in us....we have to prove our value to them etc.....Good Luck!

  13. by   jamistlc
    Greetings All Nurses,

    Yes! And harvesting tissue or organs I think would be a lateral move. I use to harvest tissues from cadavear donors! Lots of lab work with that too!

    Have a Blessed Day,