How to become a Forensic Nurse?
When you become a Forensic Nurse you will work with victims of violence and abuse.
Due to the fact that you have to be trained in trauma, from sexual attacks to assault, and similar cases, you have to be prepared to deal with any case that comes in. Regardless of the type of trauma associated with a patient, you have to be able to work with them, find out the facts, diagnose, and treat them.
Forensic Nurse Duties
As a Forensic Nurse you will:
- Work with patients who have dealt with trauma.
- Learn what the patient has undergone, so that you can administer the right tests and exams, and move them to the right doctor or surgeon if necessary.
- Determine if it is the first time of abuse or trauma, or repeat.
- Know how to deal with patients in the right manner, so they are trusting, and will give you the honest responses.
- Collect evidence and give testimony, if the chance presents itself, or if it is necessary for a specific patient and case that you are working with.
Forensic Nurse Job Characteristics
In order to become a Forensic Nurse, you must be:
- Easy to talk to, trusting, and must make the patients feel as if they can trust you, to discuss the traumatic event.
- Have the ability to work well in a group, with several doctors and professionals.
- Work with families, and discuss what forms of abuse might have taken place in the past.
- Work as an investigator, as certain patients is going to hold back, or won’t want to discuss all aspects of a case.
- Know how to work well with any patient, any trauma, and have an understanding attitude, so that the patient is going to feel comfortable discussing it with you when they are brought in for treatment.
Forensic Nurse Salary
Working as a Forensic Nurse, you can expect a salary of about $55,000 to $60,000 when you start out. Over time, and the more years you are in the field, the more you are going to earn; you can eventually earn up to $85,000 or $90,000 in the field, possibly higher, based on where you work, the type of patients you work with, and the type of field you work in.
Forensic Nurse Career Path
Your path to becoming a Forensic Nurse can vary, but for the most part you will:
- Get a bachelor’s in nursing and work to become a registered nurse in the field.
- Take the national counseling licensing exam, and receive the passing grade in your state.
- Receive your master’s degree in Forensic Nursing and take specialty training courses as is required, in order for you to gain the necessary experience in the field.
- Apply for SANE certification, through the international forensic association.
Depending on where you live, ongoing training, and having to get the license renewed regularly might also be a part of the list. If you want to work in a medical profession that truly helps patients of trauma or abuse, becoming a forensic nurse is a great option to consider.
Forensic Nurse Programs