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Online Forensic Nurse Degrees

What Is a Forensic Nurse?

Forensic nurses combine medicine with law enforcement by treating victims of a crime, collecting evidence, or perhaps by providing health care services in a prison. You can specialize in one of several areas, including:

•    Forensic Clinical Nurse Specialist
•    Forensic Nurse Investigator
•    Nurse Coroner/Death Investigator
•    Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner
•    Forensic Psychiatric Nurse
•    Correctional Nursing Specialist

What Training or Degree does a Forensic Nurse Need?

This field is still growing and developing. The term "forensic nurse" only came into existence in 1992, and the American Nurses Association just recognized it as a subspecialty in 1995. Forensic nurse training focuses on:

•    Victimology
•    Perpetrator theory
•    Forensic mental health
•    Interpersonal violence
•    Criminology
•    Criminal justice

You can qualify to practice in this field by attending a certification program or specializing in this field while obtaining your nursing degree.

As a forensic nurse, you must learn how to collect evidence, work with victims, and even give evidence as a witness in court.

You can also train specifically for the largest subspecialty within this field, the sexual assault nurse examiner. This is known as a SANE-A certification, and you must first practice as a registered nurse for two years before you can take the written examination developed by the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN).

Career Outlook and Salary Ranges

Because this is such a new field, opportunities are abundant. Salary ranges vary widely in this field, but they are generally highest at private hospitals in major cities and lowest at public hospitals in rural areas.

Forensic Nurse Schools

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