A nursing degree in the forensic sector means a nurse has vast career opportunities. Forensic nurses are the pioneers of building connections among two very different practice or systems. A forensic nurse is basically someone who works with crime victims/abuse victims/crime scene to gather medical evidence. Moreover, they also provide expert testimony that can be used in court.
In our previous article we’ve covered how to become a forensic nurse; in this
article we’ll cover the following points-
- Types of forensic degrees
- Included training or courses received in forensic degree program
- Best schools for forensic nursing degree programs
A forensic nurse fulfills several roles. Starting from the medical sector to the criminal investigation sector to providing expert testimony in court. Now let’s take a look at the sort of courses and training they receive.
Types of Forensic Degree Program
Forensic degrees are specialized advanced degrees designed for those who have already completed their Bachelor’s degree in nursing. And are currently working as a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). All LPN’s and RN’s who are currently working are eligible to apply for a forensic nursing degree.
There are basically 3 types of program –
- Professional Certificate in forensic program.
- MSN (forensic) degree program.
- Post-grad certificates in Forensic Nursing.
These programs are also offered in 3 various ways –
- Programs consisting of online, offline or a combination of both.
- University which has a nursing school/institution will offer MSN most likely.
- Brick and mortar schools of nursing offers forensic nursing programs both at the undergrad and grad lev.
Training or Courses of Forensic Nursing
Some common courses in forensic nursing programs –
- Forensic Nursing Foundations.
- Crime Scene Investigation and Forensics.
- Evidence gathering.
- Victim interviewing strategies.
- Crime scene photography.
- Evidence Preservation.
- Death Investigation.
- Dealing with violence.
- Sexual assault.
- Domestic violence.
Traditional Forensic Nursing Degree Programs
1. Xavier University
Xavier University (not to confuse with Xavier’s school for gifted students!) is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is a private Jesuit college institution which is highly renowned for its academic performance. This University is ranked at number 4 among the best colleges from the Midwest. Xavier offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program with concentrating in forensics. The main focuses of the curriculum are forensic nursing, criminalistics, psychological and legal forensics, healthcare ethics, and nursing research. Students are required to complete 36 minimum semester credit hours. The scheduling is done flexibly so that both part-timers and full-timers are able to continue at their own preference.
2. Cleveland State University
Cleveland State University is a public institution and is situated in Ohio. This University is highly renowned for being an excellent research university in the Midwest. Cleveland State University offers a Master’s of Science Nursing MSN) program dedicated solely to forensic nursing concentration. The MSN degree this University offers combines the art and science of forensic science and law into the practical nursing experience.
The program is offered to those who only have a legal nursing license. The students here have the choice to choose between a thesis and non-thesis track. They are required to focus on evidence, testimony, legal ethics, and legal aspects of forensic regardless whichever track they choose. After completing graduation, the University takes the initiative to provide the preparation of SANE-A & SANE-P for the students.
3. Duquesne University
The University is located in the urban center of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Duquesne University is one of the top ranked private Catholic Universities in the United States. The University currently has a long history with its academic excellence by creating strong graduates who later became successful alumni. The master’s program of this University is one of best in the nation with its rich and award winning faculties.
The students here are given the opportunity to advance their career by pursuing a doctorate in nursing. That is either by the institution’s PhD or DNP programs in forensic. The degree can be obtained either be completed on a full-time or part-time basis depending on the student. Duquesne University provides mentors for the students who assist them throughout their academic life till the graduation. The main focus of the curriculum is that it is specifically designed to incorporate real-world experience. Through a clinical and forensic approach as well as providing community service and hands on research project work in forensics.
4. Monmouth University
Monmouth University is located in the setting of West Long Branch in New Jersey. This is one of the few top ranked private Universities which offer a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. That is on forensic as concentration at the Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Health Studies. This University is currently ranked 37 in the nation among the best colleges of North.
The program is well-known for its practical and experimental approach to education. It offers the students to get a hand on experience in research, project, internship, clinical research, forensic research etc. The main focuses of this program are interpersonal violence, forensic evidence, legal issues, and nursing ethics. Students graduating from this University have been seen going into various career paths. Such as – domestic violence intervention, death investigation, sexual assault examination, mass disaster response, as well as forensic nursing.
5. University of California Riverside
The University of California Riverside is located in the northeastern part of downtown Riverside. This University is renowned for being a top institution in both nationally and internationally. The University of California Riverside is a public University and it has ranked 8 in the nation for student diversity. 24 in the nation for best value schools, and 46 for being the top public institution in the country.
Unlike many other institutions in the nation, this University offers Professional Certificate in Forensic Nursing. This program is specifically designed for nurses and other licensed medical professionals for a change in their medical pathways. As well as opening a new door in their career. The main focus of this curriculum is the usage of forensic evidence in healthcare and crime settings. The curriculum also specializes on effective communication and emergency intervention. Moreover, it also specializes in nursing ethics and the social implications of forensics in criminal activities.