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Becoming a Forensic Nurse

The Roles and Responsibilities of a Forensic Nurse

Forensic nurses are registered nurses who are trained to deal with trauma as a result of abuse or violence. For instance, a neglect, sexual assault, partner violence, child abuse, or other forms of intentional injury.

Essentially, they play a role in promoting anti-violence movements. Forensic nurses collect data which may be used as an evidence in court in order to prosecute the violators thereby providing justice.

On the other hand, their roles demand them to have competent nursing skills and knowledge in the legal system.

The forensic nursing job plays a vital role in the medical field and legal systems.The increasing numbers of crime victims being reported makes the forensic nurses’ role crucial as they play their part in strengthening law enforcement and crime resolution.


YouTube video of Forensic Nursing:

YouTube video of a Forensic Nurse making a report on sexual assault:


ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Forensic Nursing involves both medical and legal responsibilities. Consequently, forensic nurses bear complex roles on their shoulders. To enumerate, here’s a list of their duties, which is just a handful:

  • Assess and collect evidence from the victim and suspect/s.
  • Participate and provide testimony in the court, based on the collected evidences.
  • Properly identify and handle collected evidences.
  • Properly photograph, collect and document evidences.
  • Source of medical intervention and legal systems.
  • Provide physical and psychological care to patients.
  • Refer patients to appropriate agencies.

REQUIREMENTS: EDUCATION, LICENSE, CERTIFICATION

Like any other nurses, one must obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in order to be eligible for examination. The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) is an examination a BSN should pass in order to obtain a professional license as an RN.

Further, most of the Forensic Nurses practice as an Advanced Practice Nurse through Master’s Degree in Nursing. Additionally, forensic nursing courses are available which can be found here.

An advanced education, together with professional advancement, is vital in order to provide the best care for the patient.

Also, an RN can seek certification with the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN)


CAREER OUTLOOK AND SALARY

Forensic nursing is a branch of the nursing profession that is constantly evolving, improving and developing. As a Forensic Nurse, one may venture on various fields on the likes of Forensic Nursing Clinical Practitioner and Forensic Nurse Investigator.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasted that registered nurses in general will have an increase in employment rate until year 2026. For the said span of time, a significant growth of 16% is anticipated. It is noteworthy that the numbers is comparatively high in comparison with other professions.

On the other hand, forensic nurses was reported to be earning a median annual salary of $67,490. It is noteworthy that one’s professional experience and education background will define one’s salary.


WORK ENVIRONMENT

Unlike other nurses who typically work in a hospital, clinic or trauma center, forensic nurses function in a different environment. This is a branch of nursing profession where medical interventions and legal system interact.

In effect, these nurses may work in a coroners’ office, pediatric centers, correctional centers, psychiatric wards, and tissue and organ donation centers.

On the other hand, their working schedule is not different from any other registered nurses. They work in shifting schedules regardless if it is a weekend or a national holiday.


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