Forensic Nursing combines nursing science with the investigation of injuries or deaths that involve accidents, abuse, violence or criminal activity. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE nurses) are one of the most recognized types of forensic nurses, but they have special training in one type of injury. Forensic nursing programs typically involve a broader set of skills, encompassing some or all of the following:
- Interpersonal violence, including domestic violence, child and elder abuse/neglect, psychological abuse
- Forensic mental health
- Correctional nursing
- Legal nurse consulting
- Emergency/trauma services, including auto and pedestrian accidents, traumatic injuries, suicide attempts, work-related injuries, disasters
- Patient care facility issues, including accidents/injuries/neglect, inappropriate treatments & meds
- Public health and safety, including environmental hazards, alcohol and drug abuse, food and drug tampering, illegal abortion practices, epidemiology, and organ donation
- Death investigation, including homicides, suicides, suspicious or accidental deaths, and mass disasters
Forensic nurses find that their additional training improves their basic nursing skills, and allows them to derive greater career satisfaction from helping patient in another rather unique way.
Approximately 37 training programs exist, ranging from certificate programs that require a specific number of hours of training, to degree programs (typically Masters level programs). Many of the certificate programs are available as online training.
Source: International Association of Forensic Nurses (http://www.iafn.org/)