Forensic nursing – the new breed of nurses
With the continuing rise in crime rates, forensic nursing is quickly becoming a popular part of the AUSTRALIAN LEGAL system.
Forensic nursing is one of the newest forms of forensic sciences recognized by the Australian nurses association. The new field combines the health care profession with the legal system.
So What is a Forensic Nurse?
Nurses trained in forensic nursing are needed to quickly and appropriately gather evidence that can be used in a court of law. Along with gathering forensic information, they also testify in trials of their jurisdictions.
The appeal of forensic nursing is mainly with victims of violence.
Multiple people are seeing victims, social workers, doctors, the police etc. This can be hard on the victim. Having one expert that can do everything from start to finish including going to trial would make it a lot less stressful for the victim.
Because forensic nursing is such a new and growing specialty, it offers great opportunities for recent nursing graduates and experienced rn’s looking for a career change.
In 1992, approximately seventy nurses gathered together in minneapolis, minnesota as the first national convention for sexual assault nurses. This convention led to the founding of the iafn, the international association of forensic nurses.
Their mission statement was the concept of nurses willing to devote their energy and resources to develop a role in nursing that can have a impact on the future of forensic science and the health care industry.
Forensic nurses practice in many diverse fields.
They range from nurses who specialize in domestic violence, emergency trauma, and sexual assault nurse examiners (sane’s), witch sane’s are often the entry point into forensic nursing. Forensic nurses may also serve as legal nurse consultants or lawyers.
Forensic Nurse Education Requirements
The education for forensic nursing vary. Forensic Nurse Degree programs are available in forensic nursing but are not required for entry into the profession. Certification courses required for the forensic nurse programs are a good start.
The employers of forensic nursing specialists vary as well. They include acute healthcare facilities, correctional institutions, county prosecutors, coroner’s offices, medical examiner’s offices, insurance companies, and psychiatric facilities.
Another opportunity is working independently on a per job basis to all of these employers – starting a forensic nursing business.
The industry of the nurse forensic is only getting more and more attractive to nurses that really want to make a difference in the community around them. It’s an opportunity for them to help victims of violence and helping the perpetrators of violence to get help.
Forensic nursing careers
Forensic nursing combines clinical nursing practice with the law enforcement arena. It involves the investigation and treatment of victims of sexual assault, elder, child and spousal abuse, unexplained or accidental death, trauma and assault. It also involves the investigation of perpetrators of these crimes.
There are an estimated 7,500 nurses who recurrently fill forensic-nursing roles, which includes those who work full-time investigating deaths or treating violent offenders at psychiatric facilities. With a continuous rise in crime rates, forensic nursing is quickly becoming a regular part of the Australian legal system. Forensic nursing is one of the newest forms of forensic sciences recognised by the Australian Nurses Association . This relatively new field combines the health care profession with the legal system.
Nurses trained in forensic nursing are required to quickly and correctly collect evidence that can be used in a court of law. Not only does a forensic nurse gather forensic information, they also testify in trials of their jurisdictions. Forensic nurses may also serve as legal nurse consultants or attorneys. The employers of forensic nursing specialists include acute healthcare facilities, correctional institutions, county prosecutors, coroners offices, forensic nurse examiner offices, insurance companies, and psychiatric facilities.
Forensic Nurse Training – Degree programs are available in forensic nursing.
There are online nursing degree programs as well as campus based nursing schools. A nursing degree, however, is not required for entry into profession. Online nursing degree programs and nursing schools regularly offer various courses in forensic nursing. Certification courses are generally required for forensic pediatric/geriatric nurses, and to be a forensic psychiatric nurse, you are required to have a ms with counseling certification.
Not only is forensic nursing an exciting and rewarding career, there is also a growing demand for nurses with these specialized skills. The industry of forensic nursing is only getting more and more attractive to nurses that really want to make a difference in the community around them. Today we are finding out that the more expertise a nurse has in knowing exactly what should be collected, the better the evidence turned over to the detectives will be. And that can help lead to a better outcome in catching the perpetrator. It’s an opportunity for them to help victims of violence and helping the perpetrators of violence to get help.