Forensic nurse programs cover one of the most sensitive and important areas in medical care. In order to pursue a degree in forensic nursing, you will first need to become a registered nurse and work in the field for at least two years. The type of program you would like to join may affect the minimum requirements you need in order to pursue this degree.
Forensic Nursing Education and Training
Most programs require students to maintain minimum a GPA and submit test scores like the GRE. For forensic nurse programs, all that is needed is a registered nurse certification and two years of experience working as a registered nurse. Individuals in this field commonly work alongside hospital staff to administer both medical and psychological care to patients in need.
Forensic nurse programs cover a wide variety of topics related to the medical field. This field of study also delves into psychological concepts to help students better understand how they can work with irrational patients in penitentiary systems as well as victims of assault.
Forensic nursing classes generally cover forensic toxicology, identifying physical evidence in assault cases, as well as traffic medicine. Courses also commonly review psychology and how psychological methods can be used to help patients who are in need of medical and psychological care. Classes may include:
- Mental Health Assessment
- Psychiatric Health
- Family Violence
- Disaster Response
- Theories of Violence
Forensic Nursing Careers
Forensic nurses are responsible for providing care to a wide variety of patients including victims of assault, inmates within penitentiaries, and they are even commonly found helping investigators investigate crime scenes.
There are various job opportunities available to students studying this field of medicine today. Whether you are interested in working within a correctional facility, or you are interested in providing forensic analysis, you will likely be satisfied with the opportunities that will be afforded to you once you hold this advanced degree.
Along with filling nursing roles within hospital environments, nurses in this field of study also commonly help law enforcement and government agencies identify instances of abuse and assault to prevent elderly and child abuse.
Depending on the field of study you choose to pursue, your salary can be quite attractive. Individuals who work within hospital and clinical environments are often given some of the highest salaries, but consultants in this field are also commonly given desirable salaries as well. If you choose to work in the public sector rather than the private sector though, it is likely that your salary will be considerably less.
Estimated Income and Projected Job Outlook
No matter what type of position you seek to obtain upon graduating from forensic nurse programs, you can expect your salary to be higher than the salaries earned by traditional nurses due to the advanced training and education that is needed to fill this type of position.
Starting salaries for individuals pursuing this profession is generally about $40,000 per year, but this can vary greatly based on the city individuals work in. Top earners in this industry can earn hundreds of dollars per hour for consulting services. Common yearly salaries earned by top earners in this profession often exceed $120,000 per year.
The median annual wage of registered nurses was $64,690 in 2010 as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The lowest 10% earned less than $44,190 and the top 10% earned more than $95,130. In addition: Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners averaged $71,490. Earnings were as follows:
- General medical and surgical hospitals; private – $66,650
- Offices of physicians – $62,880
- General medical and surgical hospitals; local – $62,690
- Home health care services – $60,690
- Nursing care facilities – $ 58,180
The employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 26% from 2010 to 2020. Right now, graduates of forensic nurse programs are entering a good job market. Students who graduate from forensic nursing programs are very well trained and they are often very knowledgeable about a wide variety of subjects related to medical and psychological care. Due to the lack of supply of workers in this field of study, the salaries earned by individuals in this industry appears to be on the rise.
Forsensics and Nursing Programs
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