06 September 2007

The Evidence is Clear - Forensic Nursing Is A Hot Career

The Evidence is Clear - Forensic Nursing Is A Hot Career

Forensic Nursing is one of the fastest growing nursing specialty fields thanks in part to rising interest brought about in recent years by several popular TV shows such as CSI. Real life Forensic Nursing isn't exactly the same as what's portrayed on television though, so here is some additional information to help you know the difference between Hollywood drama and reality.

Most patients that forensic nurses deal with are patients that have been involved in a violent crime and require expert medical attention. Besides treating a patient for injuries, another service that forensic nurses must provide is the ability to compile evidence appropriately. An example would be to treat a person that was sexually assaulted. As a forensic nurse, you will need to provide proper medical treatment, as well as collect evidence, possibly DNA so that a case can be compiled and a perpetrator can be charged with a crime.

Besides dealing with sexual assaults, forensic nurses might be called in to administer care to patients that have been involved in a violent crime such as a shooting or stabbing. A forensic nurse’s work is inquisitive, investigative, and often emotionally charged. Forensic nurses play an extremely important role and nurses interested in doing challenging work that really makes a difference might find it to be exactly what they've been looking for.

Forensic nursing is a fairly new nursing specialty. In fact, the phrase of forensic nursing wasn't even coined until the early 1990’s when several dozen nurses met for a convention on the topic of sexual assault. In short time, a new association was created which was called IAFN, the International Association of Forensic Nurses.

While today there are thousands of nurses that belong to the IAFN, they are split among many different fields. One of the main branches of forensic nursing are SANE Nurses, sexual assault nurse examiners. These forensic nurses treat sexual assault victims while trying to collect evidence in the process, in order to build a solid legal case. Other types of forensic nurses might focus on domestic violence, child abuse cases, or homicide, at accident scenes, or doing research. Wherever a crime against another person has been committed forensic nurses are likely to play a vital role.

Besides dealing with violent crimes, forensic nurses may be called on to assist during autopsies in order to determine cause of death. Other forensic nurses may work crime labs examining evidence, as field examiners at crime scene locations, or work as independent consultants, or for law firms in the capacity of expert witnesses.

If you are interested in forensic nursing but do not find treating crime victims extremely appealing, many forensic nurses help out attorneys, as well as health agencies as trial experts. Many forensic nurses can be asked to appear at a court case or legal proceeding to give their expert legal opinion on a specific incident.

Forensic nurse salaries typically vary by position. For instance, as a consultant, you can command hundreds of dollars per hour, however you usually need to be in the field for a long time, as well as have a an extremely good reputation. For forensic nurses that work in a private hospital helping out with autopsies, salaries are usually higher than an average nurse. For forensic nurses that may work for a government agencies such as law enforcement, for health agencies, or in public hospitals salaries vary depending upon experience, education, type of employer, and location, ranging on average between $55 to $300 per hour.

If you are interested in learning more about forensic nursing please request free information from Kaplan University below. Kaplan University offers a totally online Forensic Nursing Certificate program that you can complete within a year. Kaplan's online Forensic Nursing program allows you to attend class anytime, anywhere 24/7 at your own pace whenever and wherever it's most convenient for you.

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