Forensic Nursing

Best Institutions & Online Programs for Forensic Nurses

Are you confident that the institutions you choose for your post-secondary education to become a forensic nurse will be beneficial to your future career?

Becoming a Forensic Nurse can be a rewarding and exciting career. But if you fail to select a good institution, you may lose the opportunities to become a forensic nurse.

Nurses care about you, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the best institutions and their most popular programs for you to compare. Which school provides the best educational opportunities? as well as which courses may be useful to you.

Now scroll down and check out some of the best institutions that can build up your career.

There are various paths to becoming a forensic nurse. Not all paths are known by everyone so when someone chooses an alternative path which is not popular or known to everyone, people often get curious and question the respective student or nurse. One of the lesser known paths is the online program for forensic nurses. There are benefits and drawbacks in every path, the same goes for online programs.

So the obvious question that arises the most is, why complete your degree or program online when you can do it in an on-site classroom full of other students. We’ll get back to this point below as well as take a look at the potentially the best online programs that are available.

Why enroll in an online certificate program – drawback and benefits

Most major courses of our life eat up most of the time when we’re doing it, thus making us incapable of doing other major things, for example, a full-time job or taking care of the whole family. Earning a graduate degree online allows you to continue working in your current position and advance your career with a focus on forensics while keeping every other thing in life in check. 

The program is quite flexible as it doesn’t eat up as much time as it would’ve in an on-site classroom, you can complete coursework and clinical requirements anywhere on your own timetable.

By doing it online does not quite necessarily mean that you’re doing just an online course, these online courses are taken by the top nursing schools or Universities across the country. You can also get your certification done from online as well, your certificate provides a prep course that includes the 40-hour SANE-A training necessary to sit for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner certification exam.

The most major drawback of this program would be not being able to build up a proper network among the students or faculties. Even though there is a three-day residency course inside the institution campus, it is not to actually grow a network or connect with the alumni properly.

Top Institutions that Offer Online Programs in Forensic Nursing

Forensic Nursing

1. Duquesne University
One of those Universities where you have the option to finish your entire curriculum online. The basic structure of the curriculum lies on principles of advanced practice nursing with an exemplary focus on applications to forensics. The students of this program have the option to study both part and full time; all the students are assigned to an equally experienced instructor.

The forensic nursing MSN requires either 36 or 39 credit hours to complete.  Even though most of the courses are completed online, students are required to complete a one-week campus residency, usually in their second year of study. Students interested in pursuing Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) certification through the International Association of Forensic Nurses may be interested in Duquesne’s online SANE course.

2. Fitchburg State University
Fitchburg State University gives you 100% flexibility to finish your entire curriculum online.  The program is for advanced practice nurses who are doing jobs & also have completed MSN degrees.

Nursing students need to complete 21 credits to get certification from Fitchburg State University. After completing these online courses, nurses can advance their skills and establish a career in more roles such – as legal consultant, Forensic Mental Health consultant, Forensic Advocate, SANE examiner. Death Investigator. It will be easier for them to get promoted into their job roles.

However, This program takes a minimum of 2 years to complete. The Course Curriculums include victim care, caring for perpetrators, and forensic nursing interventions, etc.

Students who want to apply for Fitchburg State University must have a Bachelor’s degree and should have a clinical working license. RN’s or LPN’s must have at least 1 year of practical experience in a clinic or hospital. The students of this program are prepared for advanced nursing practice as well as Doctoral Study in the field of forensic. 

If you have your MSN degree in another specialty like (Hospice Nurse / PHN), then it will be easier to earn 21 credit graduate certificates in forensic nursing.The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education has accredited Fitchburg State University’s MSN in Forensic Nursing program (CCNE).

3. University of California at Riverside (UCR)

Forensic Nursing

The University of California at Riverside (UCR) designed an online professional certificate program in forensic nursing. 

With 14 units of required coursework in areas such as forensic approaches to blunt force and firearm injuries, courtroom testimony by a healthcare specialist, and forensic approaches to mental health assessments, UCR prepares its students for the delicate work of identifying, collecting, and documenting evidence of traumatic injuries and communicating the findings to multidisciplinary teams.

The university courses also qualify for California Board of Registered Nursing’s continuing education units, which are required to maintain licensure. This program typically takes nine to 18 months to complete.

4. Drexel University
Drexel University offers a one-of-a-kind post-baccalaureate certification in modern healthcare forensic trends and concerns. The goal of this one-year multidisciplinary curriculum is to equip students to undertake compassionate evaluations of victims, violent death, and perpetrators of interpersonal violence.

The overall program prepares nursing students to identify crime, assess psychological behavior patterns of criminals and victims, analyze crime situations, collect case data and evidence, make decisions on the crime scenes, make perceptions toward victimization.

Drexel University designed this course for professionals who have already completed a BA degree and are doing a job as a healthcare professional. This coursework is beneficial for those who are already working with forensic departments or social workers.

International students can also apply for this program but they’ve to obtain a good TOEFL score.

Some of courses that Drexel University designed for Forensic Nurses are-

  • Confronting Issues in Contemporary Health Care Environments
  • Advanced Ethical Decision Making in Health Care
  • Chemistry and Physics
  • Advanced Physiology
  • Forensic Science Foundations
  • Analysis and Application of Forensic Trends and Issues
  • Information, Innovation & Technology in Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Victimology – Contemporary Trend
  • Forensic Mental Health
  • Advanced Pathophysiology
  • Advanced Health Assessment & Diagnostic Reasoning
  • Foundations of Phytotherapy: Clinical Applications of Herbal Therapy
  • Data Analysis for Decision-Making in HC Management

5. Penn State
Penn State offers a short course. They only offer 12 credit-based certificates in forensic nursing.

In this institution, nursing students are taught hand to hand to collect reports, prepare documents, collect evidence, preserve, and analyze evidence, make reports based on data,   dedicate crime spots, scenes and criminals, law & forensic regulations, jurisdictional codes and ethical considerations.

Apart from forensic nursing, This short certificate program prepares nursing students for a variety of careers – such as medical examiner, nursing in a correctional institution, clinical nurse in forensic office and legal nurse consultant etc.

6. Cleveland State University
Cleveland State University structured online-based MSN program of study. The program is 34 credit-based. Those who have already completed their bachelor’s degree and have a minimum experience of 2 years as RN only can obtain this degree.

Cleveland State University mainly focuses on population health & research but some courses are specially designed for students who are highly interested in building their career in forensic nursing. So, nursing students can obtain courses that are directly related to public health, crime, victim health, violence, human psychology, traumatic incidents etc.

Now, look at below. You can follow up these courses in Cleveland State University for you. These course mainly designed those who have an interest in Forensic students –

  • Professional Role Development for Population Health Nursing
  • Introduction to Population Health Nursing
  • Theory Development in Nursing
  • Nursing Research Methods
  • Introduction to Forensic Nursing
  • Strategies for Population Health Assessment in Forensic Nursing
  • Nursing Research Methods
  • Health Care Policy
  • Professional Role Development for Population Health Nursing
  •  Nursing of Populations
  • Nursing of Populations
  • The Legal System

In this institution, Thesis is a choice of opton. Even, students are given full freedom of opportunity to conduct their own research when they are doing their thesis. If the students want to apply for the PhD program later on, they must do their thesis in order to enhance their practical applications and garner valuable experience.

Their DNP program is structured with best courseworks that can enable a nurse student to become master in forensic knowledge & drive leadership skill for forensic jobs. Their program prepares every nurse perfectly to obtain the doctorate degree and perform nursing jobs.


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