Forensic Nursing Degree Program Requirements

Forensic nurses provide empathy to crime victims and help them heal physically and psychologically. Keep reading to learn degree levels available to pursue this profession, along with coursework to expect, related careers, and job duties for forensic nurses. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Degree Programs Are Available to Become a Forensic Nurse?

The International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) collects and publishes information on certificate and degree programs. Undergraduate and graduate certificate programs and advanced degree programs are available, both on campus and online. You might find an online certificate program suitable for working licensed medical professionals that does not require a bachelor's degree. However, most degree programs are offered at the graduate level, generally in a master's or Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

With training and required clinical experience, you could meet credentialing requirements of the Forensic Nursing Certification Board as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) for either adult and adolescent or pediatric cases. With 80 hours of training in forensic science and fulfillment of other requirements, you could take the International Commission on Health Care Certification's Forensic Nurse Certified Consultant examination.

Degree Levels Undergraduate and graduate certificates, along with master's and doctorate programs
Common Courses Death investigation, sexual assault examination, forensic pathology
Possible Careers Sexual assault examiner, forensic psychiatric nurse, legal consultant
Forensic Nurse Job Duties Collect physical evidence, provide care to victims, work with law enforcement

What Would I Study in a Forensic Nursing Degree Program?

Your studies could vary by degree level, but core courses might include crime scene and death investigation, domestic violence, elder abuse, forensic pathology, courtroom testimony and sexual assault examination training. Training in firearm or blunt force injuries is also covered. You may also learn about pharmacology, psychological aspects of forensic evaluation and laboratory techniques. Clinical experience is often a part of the program.

What Career Options and Income Might Be Available?

You could pursue clinical options like sexual assault examiner, forensic psychiatric nurse, legal consultant or investigator. You might specialize in corrections or gerontology. Forensic nurses may work in emergency rooms, insurance companies, clinical settings, sexual assault programs, nursing homes or psychiatric facilities. According to PayScale.com, during 2016, nurses in related occupations earned these median salaries:

  • RN, Emergency Room: $60,846
  • Registered Psychiatric Nurse: $60,023

What Are the Job Duties of a Forensic Nurse?

Forensic nurses are Registered Nurses (RNs) who work with law enforcement and legal professionals to address the consequences of violence. In this advanced practice specialty, you would collect physical evidence related to assault and provide care to victims and perpetrators while working with the legal system. To become a RN, you must complete educational and clinical requirements to qualify for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing's National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

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.

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  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Maryville University

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    Popular programs at Maryville University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Fortis College

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    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

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    • Arizona: Phoenix
    • Florida: Phoenix, Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Port St Lucie
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    • Pennsylvania: Phoenix, Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Port St Lucie, Indianapolis, Centerville, Cuyahoga Falls, Scranton
    • South Carolina: Phoenix, Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Port St Lucie, Indianapolis, Centerville, Cuyahoga Falls, Scranton, Columbia
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    • Utah: Phoenix, Cutler Bay, Orange Park, Port St Lucie, Indianapolis, Centerville, Cuyahoga Falls, Scranton, Columbia, Nashville, Salt Lake City
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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
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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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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

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  • Herzing University

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