Forensic Nursing is getting a lot of attention, the forensic nursing salary is quite impressive with a range of $44,190 – $95,130 annually. The mean salary for forensic nursing is $65,950 annually. The forensic nurse help investigate crimes like sexual and physical assault, and accidental death.
The forensic nursing is now made popular by tv series and shows that depicts investigators at work, solving crimes and mysteries. To be a qualified forensic nurse you need to be a registered practitioner and licensed to work in the field.
Who is Forensic Nurse?
Professional nurses who provide special care to the victims of violence and abuse like sexual assault, intimate partner violence, accidental injuries, and death are known as forensic nurses. They are trained for medical evidence collection and the criminal justice system.
Forensic Nursing Salary
The salary of a forensic nurse is quite attractive and it is not always demanding, though the work pressure may come occasionally. The work mostly as assistants and help in solving cases. Experience matters when considering the salary of a forensic nurse.
The level of education is an important factor to consider, the geographical location, type of employer and skills. Some of the figures available include the following below.
California, Texas and New York were the top three states employing registered nurses in May 2014, reported the BLS. While California also paid the highest average wage of $98,400, Texas and New York offered lower average wages of $68,590 and $77,110. Hawaii and Massachusetts, which offered respective average wages of $88,230 and $85,770, were among those states offering the highest pay. Among the states paying the lowest average wages between $33,740 and $57,830 were Tennessee, Iowa, West Virginia, Alabama and Nebraska.
Forensic Nursing Job Description
Some of the duties of a forensic nurse include:
- Collecting and finding pertinent evidence on victims
- Managing victims emotional trauma and fears
- Collecting blood, tissue, or semen samples
- Evaluate and document patient wounds
- Forensic nurses are also often called upon to deliver expert testimony during criminal trials as well.
- They are often required to assess and treat minor injuries and illnesses in their patients
- They may also work directly with police or lawyers as consultants in cases where medical knowledge is necessary.
Forensic Nursing Training and Certification
To work has a forensic nurse you need to get the relevant training and certification that will allow you to practice. There are about three training paths to get qualified and licensed to work has a forensic nurse. The first path is the diploma course route, this will eventually lead to the associate degree root and finally the bachelor’s degree route.
You can start from any of the routes, this largely depends on your entrance qualification and availability of funds to study for the program. You can study online, on-campus or in the hospital. The bachelor’s degree is a 4 years program while the associate degree takes 2-3 years to complete.
Forensic Nurse Organizations
You may go ahead for a master’s degree and doctorate in nursing, there is certification course and licensing exams to be taken to practice. Most states in the US requires a license to practice, it is also important to get certified as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) – Adult and Pediatric versions. Then the emerging Advanced Practice Forensic Nurse Portfolio credential.