Forensic Nurse Schools and Training Programs

Forensic nurses practice where medicine and criminal justice meet, when crime scene evidence is also medical information, as in assaults or mass injuries. Read an overview of the types of training programs and courses for a specialization in forensic nursing, and the certifications available. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Forensic nursing is a relatively new specialty in nursing that focuses on victims of crime or abuse. Forensic nurse schools and training programs train students how to medically assist individuals who are involved in domestic violence, physical trauma or sexual assault. In these programs, students learn how to collect evidence that may be used in criminal investigations and court cases.

Degrees Master of Science in Nursing with forensic concentration
Certificates Post-secondary certificate programs are available
Courses Psychiatric forensics, victimology, violence theories, evidence documentation and more

What Type of Programs Are Available?

Forensic nursing programs are designed for you to develop a nursing specialization at the completion of an undergraduate nursing program. As a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) with a bachelor's degree, you can enroll in a post-baccalaureate continuing education certificate program in forensic nursing or a Master of Science in Nursing program with a forensic nursing concentration. Forensic nursing programs merge healthcare experience with forensic science and criminal justice.

There aren't a large number of schools that offer programs in forensic nursing. Some schools that do offer studies in this area include:

  • Cleveland State University
  • Duquesne University
  • Monmouth University
  • Oakland University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of California Riverside Extension

Can I Study Forensic Nursing Online?

You have the opportunity to enroll in post-secondary certificate programs online. Campus-based graduate degree programs may allow you to benefit from laboratory resources, such as cadaver labs, microscope labs as well as chromatography and spectrograph equipment. Some MSN programs with a concentration in forensic nursing can be taken 100% online, but do have a clinical component that must be completed locally.

What Courses Can I Take?

You can take courses in evidence collection, both in a crime scene setting and an emergency room. You may learn evidence documentation, death investigation and blood drawing for evidence, as well as learning the legal elements of evidence chain of custody. You can learn the basics of sexual assault examination and disaster/mass injury investigations.

In a Master of Science program, you may study violence theories, victimology, psychiatric forensics along with civil and criminal law. As a graduate with an advanced degree, you may learn advanced specific elements of forensic trauma nursing, such as investigating child abuse or domestic violence as well as firearm trauma or blunt force trauma investigation. An advanced degree may prepare you for work as a forensic consultant, providing testimony in criminal and civil court trials.

Some other specific courses might include:

  • Forensic pathology
  • Forensic investigation methods
  • The legal system
  • Forensic health care
  • Forensic nursing interventions

What Types of Certifications Can I Earn?

Adding a specialized professional certification to your credentials may increase career opportunities. Certain forensic nursing programs provide you with the training to successfully earn a professional certification. The International Association of Forensic Nurses issues professional certification as a sexual assault examiner: Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner for Adults and Adolescents (SANE-A) and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner for Pediatric patients (SANE-P).

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Fortis College

    Fortis College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

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  • Colorado Technical University

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  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master

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  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

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