MSN w/ forensic it worth it?

Specialties Forensic


So I just recently graduated with my BSN in November. I immediately started working at a local, privately-owned psychiatric hospital in South Carolina. I have very little interest in bedside nursing (which I knew going into nursing school) and very broad interests in psych, physical and sexual assault perpetrators and victims, criminal justice and the legal surrounds of such cases. I had a phone interview with a Duquesne University, which offers a MSN program with a forensics focus. My main questions is whether or not there is even a job market that fits my interest? Also, would I moreso benefit from working in a larger hospital or emergency room while obtaining this degree than a psychiatric hospital? I know that SANE nurses usually work in the ER, and while I am interested in that role as well, I've heard that SANE nurses usually work bedside in medsurg and just respond the sexual assault cases as they come in. I'm super frustrated because I already feel unhappy in a career I just started! Any answers/advice is appreciated l!


1,487 Posts

For many years I worked as a PMHNP in a forensic setting. There is no SANE type work but regular court where the NPs in my state started to appear some 10 years ago, and were found to be as good on the stand as the physicians.

It had its' downside, but I only left for a much higher salary elsewhere. Plus, after 13 years, I felt like I had gotten everything.


33 Posts

This is so interesting. I would love to look into this for my future.


27 Posts

Specializes in OB/L&D/ patho.

I am interested in forensics also and wondered this too.


1,487 Posts

Interesting work. You will see things the average person does not.

I managed a caseload of up to 25 patients. and had 99% of the same responsibilities as the psychiatrists.

25 patients, but not all of them are acute. Some are just too mentally ill to navigate prison.

Many are malingerers.

I met hard core psychopaths, and I met people who were locked up for getting into something stupid.

One man was attracted to a woman in his neighborhood, of a certain ethnic group.

His idea of initiating a relationship was to send her anonymous and racist hate mail, threatening her, with the thought that she would come running to his arms for safety.

Nope, he was caught and convicted of a hate crime.

At the trial, it turned out, the woman was not from that ethnic group.

So his lawyer tried to get him out of it, unsuccessfully.

Could I make this up?


152 Posts

I think there are jobs out there for you, you just have to seek them out. I have a friend who is an on call SANE nurse. She doesn't work in a specific ER, but works for a major hospital system. Her background was in the OR.

Specializes in MICU, Burn ICU.

Really interested in getting SANE certified because my mom was a rape victim. Hopefully it wouldn't be too hard to put the certification to use for work (jobs/on-call)


54 Posts

Most jobs are all call. You get a little pay hourly and then if you have to come in for a case, you either get a set amount or a higher hourly rate.

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