Forensic nursing is a relatively new development, where the victims of physical crime are nursed and receive the treatment they need while the necessary evidence is collected from them. The term forensic nursing can also be applied to nursing within the prison service.
If you are interested in entering forensic nursing, you may decide to specialise within this specialty. Different areas include clinical nursing, nurse investigator, coroner/nurse investigator, sexual assault nurse, legal nurse consultant, forensic gerontology, forensic psychiatric nurse, and correctional nursing specialist. The idea of forensic nursing as a specialty started in 1992 when there was the first conference for nurses dealing with sexual assault. This conference led to the founding of the IAFN - the International Association of Forensic Nurses, which has been the lead body in this specialty.
Although you will be working with the police and the courts in most of the areas of forensic nursing, this profession is mostly about nursing live people who have undergone some kind of trauma. The essence of forensic nursing is to help people to recover from crime without becoming more traumatised by the necessary procedures that will help to incriminate the perpetrators. Although there are some areas that are about dealing with dead bodies, or helping to solve crime, your essential task will be that of nursing people.
To specialise in forensic nursing, you will need to qualify as an RN, and then take further qualifications in forensic nursing - usually a master's degree or other graduate qualification. This nursing specialty is in growing demand, and will offer you all kinds of opportunities in your nursing career.
Publish date: February 10, 2011