Best Online Programs for Forensic Nursing

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Forensic Nursing

There are various paths to becoming a forensic nursing. 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 questions 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, same goes for the online programs.

So the obvious question that arise the most is that, why complete your degree or program online when you can do it in an on-sit class 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 in forensics with keeping every other thing in life in check. The program is quite flexible as it doesn’t eat up as much as time it would’ve in an on-sit 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 school 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 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 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
Another unique University where you have the option to finish your entire curriculum online. Students have to complete 10 credit hours of focused forensic nursing courses in addition to the 26 credit hour MSN core, for a total of 39 credit hours to earn the degree and complete it within 3 years. The students of this program have the option to study both part and full time and are allowed to complete the degree up to six years in time. Course Curriculums include victim care, caring for perpetrators, and forensic nursing interventions etc.

Students applying for this degree must have a Bachelor’s degree and should be currently working in a licensed clinic or hospital. 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 already have a MSN degree in another specialty, there is an option to do 21 credit graduate certificates in forensic nursing. The MSN in Forensic Nursing at Fitchburg State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

3. University of California at Riverside (UCR)

Forensic Nursing

This university hosts 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 health care 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. These 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
This University provides a unique post-baccalaureate certification in forensic trends and issues in contemporary heath care. This one-year interdisciplinary program aims to prepare students to conduct targeted and sensitive assessments of victims and offenders of interpersonal violence and other crime, and also to provide appropriate clinical and medico-legal responses.

5. Penn State
Penn state offers a short 12 credit certificate on forensic nursing, here students are taught to document, collect, preserve, and analyze evidence from crime scenes, how to work with the legal and ethical considerations of the field. This short certificate can prepare students for variety of careers even apart from forensic nursing, such as medical examiner, nursing in a correctional institution, and legal nurse consultant.

6. Cleveland State University
This University hosts and 34 credit online MSN program for those who have completed their bachelor’s degree and has a minimum experience of 2 years as a RN. Courses that are taught here are forensic methodologies, theory development in nursing, and the legal system.

Students have the option to do their thesis or not do their thesis; it completely depends on the student. However, students are given the 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.

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