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FN 580 – Forensic Pathology For Forensic Nursing Practice


This is the final course in the forensic nursing practice continuing education curriculum. It presents a comprehensive study of primary issues related to forensic pathology. Students will study and learn principles of forensic pathology covering the most common issues they will encounter in forensic nursing practice. Theory is presented on DNA testing and analysis of body fluids and tissue. Applications are presented with accompanying photos of pathology to enhance the student’s learning experience. Students will also study and review actual cases related to forensic pathology. Additional study will focus on principles for using forensic pathology and evidence in court room testimony. Course Code: FN 580. Contact hours of education = 50.

Pre-requisite: You must be currently licensed as a Registered Nurse in order to register for this continuing education course. You must have also successfully completed the following courses prior to enrolling in this CE course: FN 500, FN 520, FN 540 and FN 560.

This course is particularly designed for registered nurses would like to apply for Certification in Forensic Nursing Practice by the American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc.

BOARD APPROVALS: AIHCP is an approved provider of continuing education by the Florida Board of Nursing and the District of Columbia Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975. Access information

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals (The Provider) is approved by the California Board of Registered Nurses, Provider number # CEP 15595 for 50 Contact Hours.

This course, which is approved by the Florida State Board Of Nursing (CE Provider # 50-11975) also has the following Board of Nursing Approvals, for 50 contact hours of CE

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the Arkansas Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the Georgia Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the South Carolina Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Professional Registered Nurses. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the New Mexico Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.

Instructor/Course Author:  EM V. Garcia, DHEd, DNS, MA, RN, FACLNC

Link to Resume

TIME FRAME: You are allotted two years from the date of enrollment, to complete all of the courses in the Forensic Nursing Practice program. There are no set time-frames, other than the two year allotted time. If you do not complete the courses within the two-year time-frame, you will be removed from the course and an “incomplete” will be recorded for you in our records. Also, if you would like to complete the courses after this two-year expiration time, you would need to register and pay the course tuition fee again.


Guide to Forensic Pathology: by Jay Dix, MD& Robert Calaluce, MD. Publisher: CRC Press; 1 edition (July 15, 1998) ISBN #:ISBN-10: 0849302676; ISBN-13: 978-0849302671

Link to Purchase on click here

GRADING: You must achieve a passing score of at least 70% to complete this course and receive the 50 hours of awarded continuing education credit. There are no letter grades assigned. You will receive notice of your total % score. Those who score below the minimum of 70% will be contacted by the and options for completing additional course work to achieve a passing score, will be presented.


* Examination Access: there is link to take you right to the online examination program where you can print out your examination and work with it. All examinations are formatted as “open book” tests. When you are ready, you can access the exam program at anytime and click in your responses to the questions. Full information is provided in the online classrooms.

Student Resource Center: there is a link for access to a web page “Student Resource Center.” The Resource Center provides for easy access to all of our policies/procedures and additional information regarding applying for certification. We also have many links to many outside reference sites, such as online libraries that you may freely access.

* Online Evaluation: there is a link in the classroom where you may access the course evaluation. All students completing a course, must, without exception, complete the course evaluation.

* Faculty Access Information: you will have access to your instructor’s online resume/biography, as well as your instructor’s specific contact information.

* Additional Learning Materials: some faculty have prepared additional “readings” and /or brief lecture notes to enhance your experience. All of these are available in the online classrooms.


COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the basic concepts of forensic pathology as an introduction to forensic nursing practice.
  • Distinguish various practitioners in forensic science and differentiate their roles.
  • Examine a number of cases with forensic implications and employ forensic knowledge gained.
  • Develop basic understanding of forensic pathology and its significance to determining cause, manner, and mechanism of death; time of death, decomposition, and identification.
  • Describe the link of forensic pathology to:  sudden natural death; firearms; cutting and stabbing; drugs and alcohol; asphyxia and drowning; electrical and thermal and exposure to extreme temperatures; blunt trauma; and pediatric trauma.
  • Describe basic concepts on forensic DNA testing.
  • Associate forensic pathology to forensic photographed cases and selected case scenarios.
  • Demonstrate knowledge in testifying in a courtroom including self-preparation, review, cross examination, and depositions.
  • Point and distinguish forensic phenomenon through photographs.



Part I:  Introduction

Experts in Death Investigation
Investigation and Autopsy
Death Scene Investigator Guidelines

Part II:  Forensic Pathology

Cause, Manner, and Mechanism of Death
Time of Death, Decomposition, and Identification
Sudden Natural Death
Cutting and Stabbing
Drugs and Alcohol
Asphyxia and Drowning
Electrical and Thermal and Exposure to Extreme Temperatures
Blunt Trauma: General and Motor Vehicle-Pedestrian
Blunt Head Trauma
Pediatric Forensic Pathology

Part III:  Forensic DNA Testing
Introduction to Forensic DNA Testing
DNA Testing Technical Considerations
Statistical Basis for Interpretation

Part IV: Forensic Questions and Answers

Part V: Sample Forensic Cases

Part VI: Testifying Tips in Courtroom