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Most practice areas for forensic nurses are relatively new, so networking with peers and colleagues is crucial.

Physical Evidence: Preserving the Truth

To do this, forensic nurses can join IAFN and other forensic-based organizations and attend relevant conferences and workshops. The IAFN website lists forensic nursing websites to promote global networking. See Helpful websites by clicking the PDf icon above. Most states have their own IAFN chapters, which address state and local forensic issues.

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Like other nurses, forensic nurses should maintain memberships in national and specialty nurses organizations. Forensic nursing is highly dynamic, with new developments and practice roles constantly developing and taking shape. Much remains to be done to inform patients, communities, other healthcare providers, and nursing colleagues about forensic nursing and its role.

Forensic nursing may take more time to be fully accepted into standard practice. As with any new practice field, initial opportunities for application may be limited, but forensic nurses are making their own inroads. As forensic nursing continues to grow on a professional level through standardization of practice recommendations and professional status recognition, the forensic nurse role will evolve, and responsibilities and competencies will become more delineated.

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Password recovery. Recover your password. Get help. American Nurse Today. Home Career The evolving role of the forensic nurse. The forensic information they gather can be used during trials, which may also call them as professional witnesses. Forensic nursing is primarily geared towards helping victims of violence by producing the evidences that will help solve the crime.

The traditional way to investigate on a patient is to have several people approach and ask questions. These are the social workers, doctors, police, FBI agent, etc. The victim, who may still be traumatized, will only feel worst since the recaps of the crime will have to be repeated over and over again.

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This can be addressed by having just one person do everything from beginning to end of the investigation. Beginning being, evidence gathering and end being, court trials and possible justice for the victim. The forensic nurse can be all these. Forensic nurses take charge of cases of abuse and violent crimes and oftentimes, these nurses find their work truly enjoyable and very much rewarding. Owe it to the popularity of related TV programs on cable, or owe it to the increasing crime rate, more and more clinic nurses who feel they could qualify, are enrolling in certification programs.

The American Nurses Association recognizes this new field that is fast becoming popular. Nurses who just graduated as well as the really experienced Registered Nurses can consider this as their career path.

Many experts see the demand for the forensic nurses to grow and grow. Associations like the IAFN provide services to help develop the field. They implement programs that promote the science, and disseminate necessary information about the new practice. Members of these organizations are registered nurses that are into forensic nursing activities like:. Most forensic nurses have major roles in the following venues: special hospital units, offices of the medical examiners or coroners, law enforcement agencies, social service units of the government, and other related institutions.

This new field has indeed opened more doors for all nurses worldwide.

Evidence Collection in the Emergency Department | Nurse Key

A forensic nursing association plays a big role in the development of this very significant aspect of forensics, judicial, and medical systems in the society. These groups could be the best media to assist in the fight against violence and crimes.

Forensic nursing just like traditional nursing has a lot of specialty areas. As a result, a forensic nurse may find work as a sexual assault nurse examiner, crime scene and death investigator, correctional nurse and psychiatric nurse. Aside from courses offered in school, there are also online programs where you can enroll in. You will also be able to communicate with your instructor and classmates using email, instant messenger and in chat rooms.

Once you enroll in an online program, the school will provide you with special software so you can simulate your classroom and work on quizzes and projects. The online program introduces students to the forensic aspects of health care and public service. Some of the other things which will be explored include acts of violence, human abuse, collecting and preserving evidence, documentation and follow up procedures as performed by a health care provider, mass casualty incidents, sexual assault and trauma.

If you want to go deeper and specialize in a certain field, some of the modules you can take may be clinical forensic nursing, correctional nursing, death investigation, forensic photography and forensic psychiatry. One thing these models have in common is that it will explore victimology and how it relates to the changing trends of violence in society.

Most of those that will be doing the lectures are nationally recognized experts in their own field.


With the number of people helping out, you will be able to build network and gain access to community resources for additional learning opportunities. How much you know about the subject matter will be tested and graded. If you pass, the only thing you need to do now is pass the board exam so you can already find work. A forensic nursing program will be easy to shift to if you are already a registered nurse or a licensed medical professional.


But this should stop those who just graduated out of college because everyone has to start somewhere in order to become successful in their career. The only thing to do now is decide what kind of forensic nursing program you want to enroll in so do some research. Better yet, try to get in touch with students who are currently in the program so you will know what it is like which will help prepare you for the challenges ahead.

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Forensic Nursing is one of the newest specialty areas recognized by the American Nurses Association. It involves working with law enforcement officials to aid in the investigation of crimes such as abuse, accidental death and assault. They also collect evidence from the survivors of the violent crime as well as the suspect so a case can be can be made and justice can be served. Since crimes happen almost everyday even when the suspect is already in prison, forensic nursing requires a lot of manpower. The largest subspecialty of forensic nursing is sexual assault, closely followed by death investigation, forensic psychiatric nursing and medical-legal consulting.

When sexual assault or rape occurs, it is the job of the forensic nurse to collect evidence and take pictures so whoever is responsible can be caught. This is done by cross referencing the DNA sample into the criminal database system assuming that the one who did it has a criminal record. If the victim knows who did it, a DNA sample can be collected from the suspect and if it is match, then an arrest is made. In terms of death investigation, the forensic nurse assists the pathologist in determining the cause of death of a victim.

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In some areas, this person is already the coroner. Forensic psychiatric nursing is all about giving a convict or a suspect a psychiatric evaluation. This will determine if he or she is fit for trial. Inmates who have been released who have been pardoned and released from prison may also have to do the same test so they can find work. In order for you to become a forensic nurse, you have to enroll in a program offered by a university which focuses on the criminal justice system, forensic mental health, interpersonal violence, perpetrator theory and victimology.