To become a forensic nurse individuals must first obtain a nursing license and then complete specialized education in forensic nursing.
What is Forensic Nursing?
Forensic nursing is a relatively new career path. It’s a sub-specialty of general nursing. Forensic nurses have many duties, including collecting evidence and giving expert testimony in court. Forensic nurses also investigate neglect or abuse cases and treat victims of crimes. To become a forensic nurse, special courses must be taken and a unique career path to travel.
Where Do Forensic Nurses Work?
Forensic nurses can work in a variety of places. For example, they can work in coroner’s offices and emergency rooms. Also, some nurses even work for insurance companies. In addition, forensic nurses can work with jails, hospitals, and law enforcement agencies.
High School Preparation
The first step in becoming a forensic nurse is to prepare yourself by taking the appropriate courses in high school. Make sure to take classes such as anatomy, biology, and other science and math courses to give you the head-start you need to enter college to become a nurse. Becoming a forensic nurse can be difficult at times, so work hard and keep your grades up.
Become a Registered Nurse
The next step to becoming a forensic nurse is to find the right college. The college you attend needs to have a nationally-accredited nursing program. This is vital to becoming a registered nurse. You must first become an RN before you can specialize in forensic nursing. A bachelor’s degree is the least amount of education necessary. This opens up most opportunities in this field.
Attain a Nursing License
Now that you have your BA, it’s time to become licensed. To obtain the license you need, you must take the National Council Licensure Exam. This may not be the only test you will have to take to become licensed, depending on the state’s requirements in which you live.
Get a Master’s Degree
Now that you’re a licensed nurse, the next step is to obtain the next appropriate degree to enter into the field of forensic nursing. A master’s degree in forensic nursing is what you will need. This master’s degree will allow you to work in sexual assault nursing. Another career possibility is legal nurse consulting.
Nurses must take a unique course to become certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. This ensures you’ll have the best skills to treat sexual assault victims properly.
When you have completed the appropriate courses, the next step is to apply for certification. The International Association of Forensic Nurses is where you can apply for a SANE certificate. States do not usually require this certification, but it’s good to have to give you top-quality training, knowledge, and professionalism.
The road to becoming a forensic nurse is long, but you can become a licensed, certified forensic nurse with the proper knowledge and determination. As a forensic nurse, you can help victims of violent crime, testify in court, and fulfill a host of other essential duties.