What is Forensic Nursing
Forensic Nursing, as outlined in the Forensic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, is the practice of nursing globally when health and legal systems intersect.
Why Forensic Nursing
Victims of violence and abuse require care from a health professional who is trained to treat the trauma associated with the wrong that has been done to them—be it sexual assault, intimate partner violence, neglect, or other forms of intentional injury. Forensic nurses are also a critical resource for anti-violence efforts. They collect evidence and give testimony that can be used in a court of law to apprehend or prosecute perpetrators who commit violent and abusive acts.
What is a Forensic Nurse?
A forensic nurse is a Registered or Advanced Practice Nurse who has received specific education and training. Forensic nurses provide specialized care for patients who are experiencing acute and long-term health consequences associated with victimization or violence, and/or have unmet evidentiary needs relative to having been victimized or accused of victimization. In addition, forensic nurses provide consultation and testimony for civil and criminal proceedings relative to nursing practice, care given, and opinions rendered regarding findings. Forensic nursing care is not separate and distinct from other forms of medical care, but rather integrated into the overall care needs of individual patients.
Who can become a forensic nurse?
Since forensic nursing is a nursing specialty, a person must first become a nurse before becoming a forensic nurse. Learn more about becoming a forensic nurse.
Are there different types of forensic nurses?
Forensic nurses work in a variety of fields, including sexual assault (as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners or SANEs), domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, elder mistreatment, death investigation, corrections, and in the aftermath of mass disasters.
Where do forensic nurses practice?
In the United States, forensic nurses most frequently work in hospitals, community anti-violence programs, coroner’s and medical examiners offices, corrections institutions and psychiatric hospitals. Forensic nurses may also be called on in mass disasters or community crisis situations.