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Name: Forensic Nurse
Description: 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 as well as perpetrators of these and any criminal activity
Practice roles: Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), nurse coroner, nurse investigator, correctional nurse, forensic psychiatric nurse, pediatric/geriatric nurse educator, researcher, consultant
Characteristics: Challenging opportunities to combine nursing knowledge with investigative and counseling skills. Chance to be part of a new and emerging specialty
Drawbacks: Working with victims/perpetrators of violent crime and/or abuse can be emotionally taxing. Limited full-time, paid opportunities available as this is a new and emerging field that sometimes relies on grants and government funding
Desirable skills: Psychiatric/ED background helpful for some specialties. Willingness to work with extremes of human behavior
Education: Varied. Degree programs available in forensic nursing but not required for entry into profession. Certification courses generally required for SANE, forensic pediatric/geriatric nurse. Forensic psychiatric nurse requires MS with counseling certification
Employers: Acute healthcare facilities, correctional institutions, county prosecutor and coroner’s office, medical examiner’s office, insurance companies, psychiatric facilities
Associations:
The International Association of Forensic Nurses
IAFN Home Office
East Holly Avenue, Box 56
Pitman, NJ 08071-0056
856-256-2425
Publications:
Scope and Standards of Forensic Nursing

Educational Guidelines for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (Adult and Peds)

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Standards of Practice