What Are the Core Courses of a Forensic Nursing Degree Program?

A degree program in forensic nursing covers all the topics most likely to be useful to forensic nurses as they care for crime victims, recognize the signs of crime and even testify in court. The core courses of a forensic nursing degree program range from understanding drug side effects to intervening in abusive situations. This article can help you understand the curriculum of a master's degree in forensic nursing. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Core Courses of an M.S. in Forensic Nursing

The core courses of a forensic nursing degree program, often leading to the Master of Science in Forensic Nursing, can be divided into three basic areas. These are forensic nursing theory, practical skills in forensic nursing and instruction in specialized areas that forensic nurses will probably deal with.

Important Facts About This Area of Study

Prerequisites Typically include a baccalaureate degree in nursing with an appropriate GPA and RN licensure
Online Availability Fully available
Possible Careers Death investigator, legal nurse consultant, risk management specialist, forensic mental health consultant, sexual assault nurse examiner, nurse coroner
Continuing Education Required to maintain certification

Forensic Nursing Theory

  • Applied Research: Teaches students how to use research conducted by themselves or others to develop effective Nursing practices.
  • Nursing Theory: Explains the ethical and theoretical foundations of nursing in order to foster an understanding of basic conceptual issues in health care.

Practical Skills in Forensic Nursing

  • Fundamentals of Forensic Nursing: Defines forensic nursing, which lies at the overlap between Nursing and law - such as in cases of abuse, criminal investigations and sexual assault.
  • Pharmacology: Explains how clinical drugs are used, how they work and the potential side effects and contraindications.
  • Pathophysiology: Develops a student's understanding of the changes produced by disease or other disorders.
  • Practicum in Forensic Nursing: Most degree programs in forensic nursing provide students with the opportunity to apply their skills in professional settings, such as mental health clinics, correctional facilities, hospitals, outpatient clinics, community centers or crime labs.

Special Courses in Forensic Nursing

  • Violence: Looks at the causes of violence within families, its origins and what intervention methods might be used by a forensic nurse.
  • Victim and Perpetrator Treatment: Explores the role nurses play in the treatment of the perpetrators and victims of common crimes dealt with in forensic nursing. The course describes the legal and ethical responsibilities of a forensic nurse, as well as victim rights and resources.
  • Criminal Behavior: Courses in criminology or criminalistics could be part of the curriculum of some forensic nursing degree programs. These types of courses might examine the psychological and psychosocial factors in criminal behavior.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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