Is there anyone who hasn’t a single watched medical/criminal TV series? I’m sure the majority of the people have at least watched one medical-criminal TV series where there is always an individual wearing a white coat at the crime scene, they are called forensic specialists/forensic nurses! Forensic nursing is where legal systems and healthcare systems intersect. Forensic nurses are part of the legal investigations team in a crime scene or in any unresolved situations where legal enforcers are needed.
It’s sure the majority of the people have at least watched one medical-criminal TV series where there is always an individual wearing a white coat at the crime scene. They are the Heros, The Justice founders – called forensic specialists/forensic nurses!
They are skilled at recognizing inconsistencies that help resolve medical issues and they act as a bridge between legal and the healthcare systems. Forensic nurses are vital in solving irregular medical issues as they have full authority both in a crime scene and in the forensic lab; they also work in various other fields. The profession of forensic nursing is very unique because it blends nursing, science and the legal system together and makes something challenging and thrilling.
What is Forensic Nursing?
Forensic nurses are part of the legal investigations team in a crime scene or in any unresolved situations where legal enforcers are needed.
Forensic nurses complete specialized training and study in order to care for victims of civil crimes. They deal directly with victims to provide treatment and uncover criminal activities and detect criminals.
They are the consultants of Lab and Court, cooperate, and interact with law enforcement agencies, and they can be called as expert witnesses in court.
What Does a Forensic Nurse Do?
Forensic Nurses are skilled at recognizing inconsistencies that help resolve medical issues and they act as a bridge between legal and the healthcare systems. Forensic nurses are vital in solving irregular medical issues as they have full authority both in a crime scene and in the forensic lab; they also work in various other fields.
A forensic nurse is the first health care provider to assist a victim of violence or abuse, such as sexual assault, domestic violence, child or elder abuse, human trafficking, assault, or homicide.
They gather criminal evidence such as digital images of injuries, specimens such as blood, sperm, skin, hair strands, and swabs for DNA analysis, clothing, and bullets, detect crime and criminals, keep records, and file a crime report with the authorities. They also provide mental support and treatment to victims and educate the families about the victims’ health conditions.
What Are the Qualifications of a Forensic Nurse?
The profession of forensic nursing is very unique because it blends nursing, science, and the legal system together and makes something challenging and thrilling.
A Forensic Nurse must have to be resilient and emotionally stable. They have to be sympathetic to victims and their families. They have to be very active and work hard to solve cases and make proof reports on time. Challenge takers are the ones who can shine in their career in Forensic nursing. Brave and team worker are also required qualifications for them.
They also need to be coordinated, fast-paced, need to have an active listening skill, good communication and interpersonal skill. Has the ability to give attention to details and focus on serious matters. They need to have good analytical and problem solving skills too.
They have to be very careful to present reports and manage crime data. Besides these, after BSN they must obtain an MSN degree in Forensic nursing, get licensed and achieve IAFN, SANE-A, SANE-P certification. Moreover, PHD degree holders in forensic nursing and advanced skill in the investigation are also considered as a qualification for Forensic nurses.
You must ensure before your career selection, Only be determined to be a Forensic nurse if you meet the above criterias.
Where Do Forensic Nurses Work?
Most forensic nurses in industrialized nations use SANEs in emergency rooms and sexual assault clinics, where they work with adult and child rape and sexual molestation victims. They mainly work in
- Private Private and Public Hospitals
- Forensic Labs and Bureau
- Community Anti-violence Programs.
- Psychiatric care facilities
- Correctional facilities
Forensic nurses sometimes may work alone or in a team depending on the crime type. Their work is not easy. Sometimes they have to spend hours in forensic labs and ICU with patients to detect the crime.
Forensic nurses can also work for groups that deal with domestic violence and elder abuse.
They’re also frequently relied upon to help communities recover from natural disasters and other crises. They are hard workers. Sometimes works on weekends to proof cases to courts and provide justice to victims’ families.
Now it seems the job is hard for you!!!!
But not as you think.
It’s flexible too.
If you like to accept challenges and work for communities to bring justice then you can work for Private Private and Public Hospitals and Forensic Labs and Bureau. Otherwise, You have another option. You can also work as a medical examiner in nursing universities and also work for corrections institutions.
What are the Roles of Forensic nurses?
Forensic nurses are the pioneers of building connections among two very different practices or systems. Their profession is noble as well as thrilling; there is never a boring day. A forensic nurse is basically someone who works with crime victims/abuse victims/crime scene to gather medical evidence and provide expert testimony that can be used in court; they usually have a keen observation skill, they are the ones who are responsible for detecting irregularities in the bodies of victims or the criminal. Forensic nurses primarily focus on three important duties.
- Provide compassionate care
- Gather evidence
- Testify in courts
Forensic nurses provide compassionate care to victims of abuse, harassment or any other violent crime. These forms of victims can be broken down even further, for example, a victim of sexual harassment or child abuse or domestic violence; these types of victims are usually in trauma or going through serious physical and emotional wreckage.
The forensic nurses provide them compassion and tend to their injuries, since these types of victims are sensitive to handle with, they tend to heal the victims from the psychological point of view. They work on a more personal level with the victims than any other form of healthcare.
When they are on a crime scene, they are given the full privilege to work on the scene and find evidence or clues that will help the ongoing investigation, they usually work in a group of 2 or 3 unless the crime scene is massive.
They are also eligible to give testimony in court; these nurses use their medical and criminology training to evaluate and document suspicious behaviors and activities.
They are also allowed to act as a witness during the trial of an investigation. Apart from their regular duties, what they also do is work with coroners and investigate deaths and epidemics and deal with the statistical reports which are provided to the investigators.
Forensic nurses also play a massive role during a mass disaster or crisis situation; they are called during these situations because they are trained to deal with disasters and psychological crisis situations. They know what to do and use their training to help the civilians to safety.
Why Forensic Nursing is A High Demand Profession?
It’s no doubt that violence is a healthcare issue, forensic nurses can also be thought of as humanitarian workers because their work helps victims find shelter and they work to end violence. Their work helps legal enforcers catch culprits. They are important members of the criminal justice system.
Forensic nurse has to be very organized and detail-oriented because they work with evidence and medical irregularities. They are usually very deft in and quick in what they do. They are committed to the core as they need to testify in court very often. They always need to be cautious and precise because their medical verdict can change a lot of things in a case.
Forensic nursing can be very challenging both physically and emotionally. They are always working with victims and murders so they need to have strong mental fortitude. Forensic nursing as a career is not meant for everyone, this field is extremely challenging and nerve wrecking but if you are someone who seeks thrill and has unwavering mental endurance then a career in forensic nursing is suitable for you.
According to the International Association of Forensic Nursing (IAFN), The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the employment rate of forensic nursing will grow at a rate of 15% till 2024. The states in the US with the highest projected demand are Arizona, North Carolina, Colorado, Maryland, Nevada, Washington, Georgia, Oregon, California, New Mexico, Alaska, Rhode Island, Maine, Montana, South Carolina, and Hawaii. You can find jobs easily if you have the required skills and knowledge. Many government and non-government employers will hire you depending on your skills and experience.
Apart from the growing need for nurses, the crime rate and violence are increasing gradually in different parts of the world, thousands of people around the world suffer from violence every day, there are victims of all kinds of violence, for example, sexual violence, child abuse, domestic abuse, etc. That is why forensic nurses are a high demand nowadays.
How Much Does a Forensic Nurse Earn?
The salary of a forensic nurse can vary depending on where they work and how experienced they are. Not all parts of the world offer good salaries to forensic nurses, if there is a high crime rate in a specific area then that area has high demands for a forensic nurse. The low crime-rate areas don’t quite specifically is in demand of forensic nurses. So it is important to research before you choose your workplace.
Consider the geographical location and area of your interest. The BLS reports that in 2016, the median annual income for nurse practitioners was $100,910. The median salary for a forensic nurse is $39/hour, or $81,800/year, with the bottom 10% of nurses making around $50,000/year and the top 10% making around $140,000. They receive an average salary of more than $50,000 a year regardless of the work.
Pros of Forensic nursing
For those who enjoy taking on new challenges on a daily basis, forensic nursing is an excellent choice.
Here are a few of its benefits:
Specialized training and certifications are required: Forensic nursing is a rare and well-paid profession. As a result, forensic nurses require a specific degree, intensive training, and legal experience. All of your accomplishments will make you appear to be an expecting nurse.
Collaboration with highly experienced professionals: Forensic nurses have the opportunity to collaborate with highly skilled breuro officers, lawyers, medical examiners, police, investigators, coroners, and others. It will allow them to put their knowledge to use in a variety of situations.
Workplace Flexibility and Time Management: Managing your time between work and other activities is more flexible. They have time flexibility in their six-day routine, where other nurses must stick to their roasting schedule. They can also choose their workplace too. They can work in the Bureau of medical examiners in nursing universities and also work for corrections institutions as they wish!
Cons of Forensic Nursing
Just like other professions, forensic nursing has its cons too. When considering a career in this profession, be mindful of the following drawbacks:
High level of Stress: As forensic nursing is involved with the legal system, they are expected to make perfect reports with no mistakes. Because their one mistake can make a false report and bring injustice. So, They need to be very hard workers, active, focused and have the ability to take the stress.
Detailed Report: Legal system requires detailed reports and organized documents. Improper legal document creation could jeopardize the forensic nurse’s position’s credibility.
Emotionless: You have to be a very critical thinker. Showing soft sides for people can ruin the game.
For those who are passionate about giving care and assisting in the court system, becoming a forensic nurse can be a satisfying career. If you’re on the fence about pursuing forensic nursing, take the guide from us. We provide the latest news, blogs and information on our sites.
Well, Some books contain misleading information that can lead to mistakes in a nurse’s activities. So, we have to be careful in choosing books. To avoid misleading information, we have researched and listed the best books for you and have given a short summary of the books including the title of the book and the name of the author. Check out the blog on important Forensic Nursing Books.
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