The Importance of Forensic Nursing Training

By – James M. Katz, BA

Working in the healthcare education field, I have seen first-hand the vital role that forensic nursing training plays in both patient care and legal proceedings. Forensic nursing is a specialized field of nursing that combines medical care with the criminal justice system. Forensic nurses are trained to provide care to patients who have experienced trauma, collect and preserve evidence, and testify in court as expert witnesses. They are extremely valuable to the criminal justice system and help many victims receive justice.

The article below showcases the ever growing need for forensic nurses and the increased need for Forensic Nursing Training. It is an excellent read and further illustrates the need for more nursing professionals in the forensic field.

UCHealth’s team of forensic nurses cared for 2,515 children and adults in this city last year who were sexually assaulted, choked or beaten and in need of a medical exam that could become evidence in a criminal case.

These exams — more than six per day on average — took place mostly in Memorial Hospital’s emergency department, a Level I trauma center punctuated by the sounds of beeping machines, shouting amongst doctors treating gunshot victims, and law officers standing guard outside of patient rooms.

Full Article Here  

Picture of Crime Scene Tape with a Forensic Nurse.


The Role of Forensic Nurses in Patient Care and Legal Proceedings

Forensic nurses play a critical role in both patient care and legal proceedings. In terms of patient care, forensic nurses are trained to treat patients who have experienced trauma, such as sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. They are also trained to collect and preserve evidence, such as DNA samples, photographs, and medical records. This evidence can be used in legal proceedings to help ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

In legal proceedings, forensic nurses are often called upon to testify as expert witnesses. They can provide testimony about the injuries sustained by the victim, the collection and preservation of evidence, and the medical treatment that was provided. This testimony can be crucial in helping to secure a conviction and ensuring that justice is served.

Importance of Forensic Nursing Training

Forensic nursing is a complex and specialized field that requires extensive training. Without proper training, forensic nurses may not be able to provide the level of care that is required or may not be able to collect and preserve evidence properly. Additionally, without proper training, forensic nurses may not be able to testify effectively in court.

Forensic nursing training is critical to ensuring that patients receive the best possible care and that justice is served in legal proceedings. Forensic nursing training provides nurses with the knowledge and skills they need to provide comprehensive care to patients who have experienced trauma. It also provides nurses with the training they need to collect and preserve evidence properly, which can be critical in securing a conviction.

Types of Forensic Nursing Training

There are several types of forensic nursing training available, including continuing education courses, certification programs, and degree programs. Continuing education courses are designed to provide ongoing education to nurses who are already working in the field. Certification programs are designed to provide nurses with a credential that demonstrates their expertise in forensic nursing. Degree programs, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a forensic nursing specialization, are designed to provide nurses with advanced knowledge and skills in the field.

Benefits of Forensic Nursing Training for Nurses and Patients

Forensic nursing training provides a wide range of benefits for both nurses and patients. For nurses, forensic nursing training can lead to increased job satisfaction, higher salaries, and more career opportunities. For patients, forensic nursing can lead to better outcomes, including improved physical and mental health, greater access to justice, and increased safety.

By providing comprehensive care to patients who have experienced trauma, forensic nurses can help to reduce the long-term physical and psychological effects of trauma. Additionally, by collecting and preserving evidence properly, forensic nurses can help to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.

Challenges Faced by Forensic Nurses and How Training Can Help

Forensic nursing is a challenging and often emotionally taxing field. Forensic nurses may be exposed to graphic and disturbing images and may be required to testify in court, which can be stressful and intimidating. Additionally, forensic nurses may face challenges related to the collection and preservation of evidence, such as a lack of resources or support.

Forensic nursing training can help to address these challenges by providing nurses with the knowledge and skills they need to cope with the emotional demands of the field. It can also provide nurses with the training they need to overcome challenges related to evidence collection and preservation.

Forensic Nursing Certifications and Qualifications

Certifications and qualifications are an important part of the forensic nursing field. Forensic nursing certifications, such as the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) certification, demonstrate a nurse’s expertise in the field and can help to increase their job opportunities and salary. Qualifications, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a forensic nursing specialization, can provide nurses with advanced knowledge and skills in the field.

It’s important to note that forensic nursing certifications and qualifications vary by state and by institution. It’s important for nurses to research the requirements in their state or institution before pursuing certification or further education.

Conclusion: The Importance of Investing in Forensic Nursing Training

Forensic nursing is a vital and specialized field that requires extensive training. Forensic nurses play a critical role in providing care to patients who have experienced trauma and in ensuring that justice is served in legal proceedings. Forensic nursing training provides nurses with the knowledge and skills they need to provide comprehensive care to patients and to collect and preserve evidence properly.

Investing in forensic nursing training is critical to ensuring that patients receive the best possible care and that justice is served in legal proceedings. By providing nurses with the training they need to excel in the field, we can ensure that the forensic nursing profession continues to grow and provide the best possible care to patients.

With a growing need and a stable job market, becoming a forensic nurse is a great way to further your nursing career. If you feel Forensic Nursing would be a good idea for you, please feel free to visit our Forensic Nursing Certification webpage.


Wiki Forensic Nursing Page –

International Association of Forensic Nurses –

Additional Resources:

The opinions of senior nursing students about forensic nursing. Topçu, E.T., Kazan, E.E.  Egypt J Forensic Sci 8, 16 (2018).

Access link here

Forensic clinical nurses in emergency departments: An emerging need for New Zealand. Donaldson, A. (2019). Kaitiaki Nursing Research, 10(1), 54–58.

Access link here

Evolution of Forensic Nursing Theory–Introduction of the Constructed Theory of Forensic Nursing Care: A Middle-Range Theory. Valentine JL, Sekula LK, Lynch V. J Forensic Nurs. 2020 Oct/Dec;16(4):188-198. doi: 10.1097/JFN.0000000000000287. PMID: 32379251; PMCID: PMC7678647.

Access link here

The polymorphism of crime scene investigation: An exploratory analysis of the influence of crime and forensic intelligence on decisions made by crime scene examiners. Tatiana Resnikoff, Et al. Forensic Science International, Volume 257, 2015, Pages 425-434, ISSN 0379-0738.

Access link here

Meeting The Challenges Posed By Moving Away For Work

Funny girl with blue doctor uniformBy Lucy Peters

Most medical professionals are enduring one of the most difficult and challenging periods of their career. Now, many are moving to other jobs, in new cities, on the back of their work, in search of better pay and work/life balance. Indeed, CNBC has highlighted huge wage growth and upheaval from multiple sectors ranging from healthcare assistants to surgeons. For medical professionals making the move, there’s a wide range of factors to consider, from the amenities and security of a new town to crucial factors, such as the ability of a young family to settle on new shores.

Making the switch

Upheaval will impact every member of the family but children are often disproportionately impacted. According to a study analyzed by Psychology Today, relocating with a young family can, if managed improperly, create serious long-term problems that impact the development of kids well into adulthood. The reasons why are fairly clear – the emotional and physical ties that anyone makes with their community and surroundings is one that has a big impact on who that person becomes later in life. Depriving them of it, without explanation, can be harmful. The key is, of course, communication. Families moving to a new city should first make it absolutely clear just what is involved with the move, and why it’s happening. To further develop the message, provide opportunities to retain ties with the home community. That’s easy in the modern day, with the help of communications tools.

Developing new roots

Don’t treat a new area as simply somewhere to stay. A healthy psychological state relies on community; one NAMI blog asserts that community helps to develop a sense of belonging, purpose, and support, all crucial factors when putting roots down in a new city. Meet neighbors, join local events and traditions, and make your out-of-work life as important as making a good impression in your new job.

A work-life balance

Moving to a new job is a chance to impress. As a result, many workers will work long hours, go the extra mile, and do everything in their power to make a good impression on a new boss and set of co-workers. Unfortunately, that attitude can be dangerous. A report by the BBC found that western workers now operate, on average, 54 hours a week – and that this can be detrimental to long-term health. It’s clear that making a good impression can be beneficial to long-term professional development and job satisfaction, but it cannot come at the sacrifice of a work-life balance. Back yourself by setting boundaries early and only taking on what you can sustainably support. You will thank yourself in the long run.

Your family, too, will thank you. Moving to a new community is something that often benefits the breadwinner in the family, but it needs to be looked at through the prism of family. Look for solutions that benefit everyone, not just the newly employed.



Please also review AIHCP’s Certification Programs and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program in online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.

Forensic Nursing Practice: A Growing Specialty

Gavel with red heart and pills on white. Medical law concept.What is Forensic Nursing?

Specialized nurses that focus mainly on medicine with science and criminology as it pertains to the law are known as forensic nurses, and are practicing forensic nursing. Normally forensic nursing consists of assisting forensic scientists and forensic psychologists in collecting data in order to create a more realistic picture of the events that lead to each particular case. They have specialized training in the collection of forensic evidence, as well as criminal procedures and more. They are also called upon in court to provide their forensic expertise in the form of a testimony. The forensic nursing field often works with criminal victims that are the product of violent and intense mental and physical abuse. They serve mainly as the liaison between both the medical field and the criminal justice system. For this reason, it is critical that forensic nurses are familiarized with both fields. With the advancement of forensic technology, forensic nurses play a critical role in the criminal justice system used today.
The majority of forensic nursing is done outside of the hospital. They are normally the first medical representatives called upon to make the first assessments of a victim’s condition and dictate which procedures will follow next. It is typical for forensic nurses to posses the ability to properly asses the victims in a chaotic environment. Some situations can be hectic and a forensic nurse must be able to remain calm and make quick and correct decisions with a stressful situation surrounding them.
Forensic nursing is also needed in other areas outside of the criminal justice world. In the event of a natural disaster, these nurses play a large role in determining whether victims caught in a storm, hurricane, earthquake or flood will make it through alive or not. In the event that there are some people that did not survive a natural disaster, these nurses use their forensic training to help identify bodies and collect evidence to better aid research.

 How to Become a Forensic Nurse?

If you are interested in the forensic nursing field, there are several programs that are designed to train a person and prepare them for this field. First, however, you must become and gain experience as a registered nurse. While you are on your way to becoming a registered nurse, it will be beneficial to take as many courses in forensic science and nursing as possible. Different courses will be available depending upon the school you choose. It is recommended that you consider which course there schools offer before hand as the choices and quality of their course offerings will vary. Attend your chosen college or university and complete your RN degree. This will normally take 2-4 years depending if you decide to get your associates or bachelor degrees. Such degrees offered are normally associates of science in nursing (BSN), associates of science in nursing (BSN), or register in an RN program. Also, you will be required to pass your NCLE exam to gain your license and begin working as a registered nurse. Once you have graduated and accumulate a few years as an RN, you will then have to start specializing in the various forensic nursing fields. Such fields include courses in forensic clinical nursing, correctional nursing, forensic investigation, forensic psychiatric nursing, forensic gerontology, death investigation, sexual assault examination and legal forensics. When you have the appropriate experience working as a registered nurse and have gained knowledge within the previously mentioned fields, you will need to earn your certification that demonstrates this knowledge and commitment to the forensic nursing field. Such certifications include the FNCB, the IAFN, SANE-A and SANE-P certifications and the forensic nurse specialist certification from the American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc.
It is a difficult and long road to get into the forensic nursing field however it is a rewarding and interesting profession. As the demand for forensic nursing increases, the salary and benefits for this profession will rise. Currently, forensic nurses can make anywhere between $25-$60 per hour depending upon that persons experience and employer. Many forensic nurses continue to work as registered nurses on a full time bases. This usually is accompanied with an on call forensic nursing status which is paid 1 ½ ties their base pay rate. Whether you are currently working as a registered nurse or looking to gain entry into this field, forensic nursing may provide you with that step up in your career that you have been looking for.