Forensic nurses (RNs) provides care to victims and/or perpetrators of violence, providing specialized healthcare services as well as forensic services. Duties performed by a forensic nurse include providing nursing care to victims and/or perpetrators, collecting evidence such as blood samples, taking photographs of injuries, and providing support to and taking detailed reports from victims. They may serve as expert witnesses in court as well, and they must be able to work collaboratively with law enforcement professionals and the district attorney's office. Often, forensic nurses act as a liaison between the victim and other medical personnel and/or law enforcement.
Forensic nurses typically work in an emergency room setting, and their hours may vary depending on their employer's needs and the number and type of patients who need to be seen. They may be required to work on-call. These nurses must follow all privacy and safety regulations, as well as provide excellent patient care at all times. They must be able to communicate effectively with patients, their loved ones, law enforcement, fellow medical professionals and others.
A bachelor's degree in nursing and status as a registered nurse is typically required for forensic nursing positions, as well as additional education specific to forensic nursing. This may include certification as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) or a master's degree program in forensic nursing.
Forensic Nurse (RN) Tasks
Provide assessment, screening, treatment, and forensic evidence collection for victims of crimes including sexual assault.
Help investigate deaths, trauma, drug abuse, and environmental and public hazards on an on-call basis.
Help investigate crimes by collecting evidence and testifying in courts about their interaction with patients.