The nursing field has changed in the past few decades, especially with the advent of advanced nursing practice and advanced nursing technology. The scope of practice for nurse practitioners has expanded as well. As a result, many nurses continue to pursue new career opportunities. But where can you go as a nurse that will give you the most bang for your buck? That’s the question many people ask after considering a career in forensics nursing. Forensics nursing is the healing arts practiced within criminal justice organizations such as police departments and hospitals. In other words, it’s helping police and other law enforcement agencies identify and capture criminals by interpreting physical evidence found at crime scenes or during interrogation. The job usually requires an advanced degree, such as a master’s or even a doctorate in nursing, along with at least several years of experience. On this page, you can explore key distinctions between forensics nurse and emergency nurse, review notable careers in forensics nursing, and get an overview of what forensics nurse jobs involve. If you’re ready to learn more about this fast-paced but rewarding career path, then keep reading!
What is a forensic nurse?
A forensic nurse is a healthcare practitioner who specializes in helping law enforcement and other criminal justice organizations identify and catch criminals by interpreting physical evidence found at crime scenes or during interrogation. The job usually requires an advanced degree, such as a master’s or even a doctorate in nursing, along with at least several years of experience. Most forensic nurses work as in-house private practitioners who provide tailor-made services to local law enforcement and/or FBI forensics units. They are not medical doctors, but rather specialized healthcare providers who work as part of a law enforcement or criminal justice organization. Key Difference Between Forensics Nurse and Emergency Nurse The key difference between forensics nurse and emergency nurse is that forensics nursing is the study and analysis of evidence while emergency nursing is the provision of acute medical services. While the two terms can be used interchangeably, there are some important distinctions between the two that will help you make better career decisions. Forensics nursing is distinct from emergency nursing in that it is a field of study within a criminal justice organization. The job of a forensics nurse is to help law enforcement and other criminal justice organizations solve crimes by interpreting physical evidence found at crime scenes or during interrogation and sharing this information with the public. While most emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are licenced practitioners with advanced degrees in medicine, most forensics nurses are either advanced practice nurses or master’s level health care professionals with advanced degrees in nursing. Forensics nursing has evolved significantly in the past few decades and the job description has changed accordingly. Initially, most forensics nurses were forensic pathologists who specialized in identifying and describing the physical evidence as well as providing post-investigation consultation. However, this is a narrow specialization and one that can easily become outdated before new evidence or a new case is identified. Forensics Nursing Careers: A Look at the Top 2 Registered nurses are the most common type of nurse practitioner working as forensic nurses. Registered nurses are employed by large corporations or government agencies and work in areas such as nursing administration, hospital administration, and practitioner staffing. They are not typically substitutes for doctors or other healthcare providers. EMTs and paramedics are also common in forensics nursing, especially in urban areas where the police are the majority of the population. EMTs and paramedics provide basic medical services such as administering first aid, CPR, and oxygen to patients as well as following ambulance rides.
Recognized Careers in Forensics Nursing
Since many new nurse practitioners choose forensics nursing as a career, it’s worth taking a look at the different recognized careers in forensics nursing. Here are a few examples: Emergency Nurse Emergency nurses are trained to respond to and treat victims of all kinds of accidents, medical conditions, and disasters. They are often called “ambulance nurses” or “emergency medical technicians” and provide basic medical services, such as administering first aid and CPR, as well as following ambulance rides. Emergency nurses are also sometimes referred to as “medic” since they provide basic care to the entire population, not just those in acute need of medical services. Forensic Nurse Like emergency nurses, forensic nurses are also trained to respond to and treat victims of all kinds of accidents, medical conditions, and disasters. However, the scope of practice of a typical forensic nurse is much broader than that of an emergency nurse. A typical forensic nurse works with a variety of evidence such as biological, financial, and electronic evidence. She or he might also work with victims of fraud, child abuse, and sexual assault.
What Are the Most Important Skills for a Forensics Nurse?
There’s no one-size-fits-all list of skills for any career in nursing, of course. It all depends on what you plan to do with your degree and where you plan to work. For example, some prospective forensic nurses might choose to speciality in toxicology to better understand the effects of various toxins on humans. But most prospective forensics nurses will do well with an emphasis on physical and biological sciences such as anatomy, genetics, epidemiology, and pathology. You should be able to do basic science research and know how various organisms grow, function, and die. You should also be able to interpret laboratory and biological tests as well as report on the current state of medical research and its implications for real-world outcomes. The most important skill for a prospective forensics nurse is to be flexible.
The job of a forensics nurse is to help law enforcement and other criminal justice organizations solve crimes by interpreting physical evidence found at crime scenes or during interrogation. The job also involves providing patient care and working in an administrative capacity as needed. Depending on your interests and requirements, a forensics nurse could work in a hospital, police station, morgue, or even house of horrors to help solve crimes. There are many different specializations within forensics nursing and each has unique requirements and requirements for promotion. With so much variety, it’s hard to know where to begin. Fortunately, the process is easier than you might have previously thought.