What Is Required to Earn a Forensic Nursing Certificate?

If you want to become a forensic nurse, a certificate program in forensic nursing is a good way to prepare. Learn about the requirements for earning a forensic nursing certificate, including the eligibility qualifications, the general scope of a certificate program and the curriculum. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Forensic Nursing Certificates Explained

Forensic nursing certificates are generally graduate-level certificate programs teaching nurses to care for crime victims and document evidence. These programs typically require students to complete at least fifteen credit hours of instruction in forensic nursing topics. Some certificate programs may also require clinical work. A forensic nursing certificate may be earned alone or in conjunction with a Master of Science in Nursing or a similar degree.

Important Facts About Forensic Nursing Certificates

Key Skills Organizational skill, compassion, attention to detail, critical thinking skills
Possible Careers Sexual assault nurse investigator, legal nurse consultant, medico-legal investigator
Certification In addition to a certificate, nurses can seek certification through the CFNC (Commission for Forensic Nursing Certification)
Median Salary (2014) $66,640 (for registered nurses)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Eligibility Requirements

The educational requirements for admittance to a forensic nursing certificate program vary between schools. Some programs may be open to registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses or other allied health workers. By contrast, others may require you to have completed a doctorate or master's degree program in nursing. You will also need a current RN license to enroll in most programs.

Common Courses

The goal of a forensic nursing certificate program is to teach you how to diagnose, record and treat the mental and physical injuries of your patients after crime or trauma. You should expect the required curriculum of a forensic nursing certificate to include classes like these:

  • Trauma documentation and assessment courses explain how law and nursing come together in the collection and documentation of evidence about the physical and psychological injuries of trauma victims.
  • Violence classes deal with domestic violence and abuse, sexual crimes and similar topics, including understanding and assisting both the victims and the perpetrators.
  • Pathology courses cover the biomechanics of various injuries and the factors that can compound them.

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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