Forensic Nursing

5 of the Best Forensic Nursing Program

If you want to know more about the 5 best universities for Forensic Nurse degrees and what courses they are offering to their MSN students, then you should check out this.

Many nursing students report that their colleges do not offer the forensic nursing courses they want. If you wish to pursue a course named – Forensic Nursing Specialty, you must first find out which universities offer this course as part of their master’s degree program. Otherwise, it could be that you fail to obtain the course.

However, to make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top five universities and the forensic degree programs they offer. You may research those institutions, choose which university is ideal for you, and compare which university is best for which specific courses.

Scroll down to learn more about the finest universities for forensic nursing programs!

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 practices or systems. A forensic nurse is basically someone who works with crime victims/abuse victims/crime scenes 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 a 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 LPNs and RNs who are currently working are eligible to apply for a forensic nursing degree.

There are basically 3 types of programs:

  • 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 offer forensic nursing programs both at the undergrad and grad lev.

Training or Courses of Forensic Nursing

Forensic Nursing

Some common courses in forensic nursing programs:

  • Forensic Nursing Foundations.
  • Crime Scene Investigation and Forensics.
  • Evidence gathering.
  • Victim interviewing strategies.
  • Criminalistics.
  • Pathophysiology.
  • Criminology.
  • Crime scene photography.
  • Evidence Preservation.
  • Death Investigation.
  • Psychology.
  • 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 a concentration 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.

Forensics Track Courses that Xavier University offers for the forensic nursing master degree program are-

  • Foundations of Forensic Nursing
  • Sociology of Crime and Delinquency
  • Psych/Social/Legal Aspects of Forensics
  • Interprofessional Collaboration

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 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 a non-thesis track. They are required to focus on evidence, testimony, legal ethics, and legal aspects of forensics regardless of whichever track they choose. After completing graduation, the University takes the initiative to provide the preparation of SANE-A & SANE-P for the students.

Cleveland State University offers the following Forensic Chemistry program to advance the knowledge of forensic nurses.

  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Biotechnology Techniques
  • Intro. to Criminology
  • Forensics Internship

3. Duquesne University

Forensic Nursing

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 of academic excellence by creating strong graduates who later became successful alumni. The master’s program of this University is one of the 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 Ph.D. or DNP programs in forensics. 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 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. Some of the courses Duquesne University offers for the MSN degree program are:

  • Trace Evidence & Environmental
  • Forensic DNA Analysis/Interpretation/Stat
  • Constitutional Criminal Procedure
  • Latent Print Analysis
  • Journal Club Research
  • Trace Evidence Application Lab
  • Serology DNA Application Lab
  • Advanced DNA Topics
  • Forensic Pathology DNA
  • Firearms & Toolmarks
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Evidence & Case Management
  • Explosives & Arson Investigations

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 forensics as a concentration at the Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Health Studies. This University is currently ranked 37 in the nation among the best colleges of the North.

The program is well-known for its practical and experimental approach to education. It offers the students hands-on experience in research, projects, internships, 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. Here are list of some forensic degree courses that Monmouth University offers:

  • Nursing Research for Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Data Management for Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Education and Motivation of Nursing Clients
  • Advanced Practice Concentration
  • Pathophysiology and Histology
  • Pharmacology for Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Psychopathology
  • Advanced Health Assessment for Forensic Nurses
  • Forensic Pathology
  • Forensic Nursing Specialty
  • Issues in Forensic Nursing
  • Interpersonal Violence
  • Forensic Nursing Practicum

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 a Professional Certificate in Forensic Nursing degree. This program is specifically designed for nurses and other licensed medical professionals for change in their medical pathways. As well as opening a new door in their forensic career. The main focus of this curriculum is the usage of forensic evidence in healthcare and crime settings. The curriculum also specializes in effective communication and emergency intervention.

Moreover, it also specializes in nursing ethics and the social implications of forensics in criminal activities. Here is the list of courses University of California Riverside offers for forensic nurses:

  • Introduction to Forensic Science in Healthcare Settings
  • Forensic Approaches to Blunt Force and Firearm Injuries
  • Occupational Considerations in Forensic Nursing
  • Forensic Photography in the Healthcare Setting
  • Sworn Testimony for the Healthcare Specialist
  • Introduction to Forensic Pathology for Health Care Specialists

If you think the information above will assist you in deciding and selecting the finest institution for you, please forward our blogs to a friend or family member who is interested in becoming a nurse. You may also leave a remark if you wish to learn more from

There are some important books for forensic nursing. If you want to know details about them then go through our another blog on important Forensic Nursing Books.


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