Forensic nursing is an exciting and rapidly growing field that offers great opportunities and rewarding career options for nursing professionals. The CFN program can demonstrate to a nursing professional's colleagues, patients, clients, employers, and the health care community that he or she has an extensive base of knowledge and education, direct professional experience, and a commitment to continuing education and excellence within the forensic nursing profession. The CFN credential can also help contribute to the weight and relevance of the CFN's testimony and the applicability of the evidence that the nurse presents in a court of law.
The CFN credential requires Certified Members to obtain 30 Continuing Education Credits every 3 years. After successful completion of the exam, you will receive a certificate of completion from ACFEI.
Materials can be accessed from your online course catalog once you receive your log-in information.
Forensic nursing, one of the newest specialty areas recognized by the American Nurses Association (ANA), is gaining momentum nationally and internationally.
Borrowing on their training and experience in observation as a part of their caregiving role, the forensic nurse has the unique position of being a qualified medical professional trained to observe, recognize, collect and appropriately document evidence that ultimately becomes foundational to establishing the legal causation and responsibility for traumatic injury. Programs designed to instruct medical personnel with the fundamentals of the forensic examination of a victim of sexual assault were first offered in 1976, and typically consisted of forty hours of academic instruction followed by specified hours of hands-on clinical practice.
Forensic nursing curriculums focus on victimology, perpetrator theory, forensic mental health, interpersonal violence, criminology, and criminal justice. Certification Programs offered by a university that provide course programs in forensic nursing apart from those structured courses of study leading to a undergraduate or graduate degree. Continuing Education courses that are required for renewal of State nursing licensure and are focused on forensic subjects.These courses are frequently offered as part of the Certification Program courses described in above. School of Nursing undergraduate, or graduate, elective courses in forensic nursing, which, again, are frequently offered as part of the Certification Program courses described in above. Formal graduate study programs leading to a Masters of Science-Nursing degree, which curriculum, in addition to core graduate nursing courses, include special instruction in the areas of evidence collection, forensic law and science and provide for a clinical internship in associated settings such as a forensic crime laboratory, medical examiners office, shelter for victims of sexual and domestic violence, forensic psychiatry unit or a hospital. As a Licensed Professional, Where Can I Find a Time Convenient Source of Forensic Education? UCR's Certificate of Completion of its Forensic Nursing program, covering a wide spectrum of forensic subjects, is designed for the use of a general practice forensic nurse, and as such represents both a meaningful and useful credential in the general practice of forensic nursing. What is the Difference Between UCR's "Sexual Assault Examiner Certificate of Completion" and the International Association of Forensic Nurses "Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Certification (SANE-A)"? The successful completion of UCR's Sexual Assault Examiner program enables the student participant to perform the specialized examination of victims of sexual assault and abuse.
The International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) has developed a national written certification examination for the sexual assault nurse examiner.
Contact your State's Board of Registered Nursing to determine if they will accept California BRN approved continuing education credits.
Given the variety of forums where forensic nursing can and is practiced, and variation of levels of compensation from one geographic location to another, it is nearly impossible to provide any meaningful response to this question.
Educating and informing potential employers regarding the profession of forensic nursing and the valuable skills provided by qualified forensic nurses. Many people wouldn't think of legal nurse consulting as a forensic specialty, but then again, it is the combination of nursing and the law, which fits the description of nursing forensics.
Nurses in this role may go by different titles, such as death investigator, forensic nurse investigator, or deputy coroner.
Tissue and Organ Donation: In large trauma facilities, the skills of an experienced, knowledgeable forensic nurse are a significant contribution to the crisis intervention team working with families of potential donors.
Pediatrics: Forensic nurses may specialize in the recognition, evaluation, treatment and support of young victims of abuse through various facilities and organizations.
Correctional: Correctional nurses have a great deal of autonomy, provide acute and chronic assessments, dispense medications, manage acute illness and injuries, perform health screenings, and educate inmates on various health related topics.
Psychiatric: There are but a few states in the nation that have the Psychiatric Forensic Nursing Classification. School Settings: In the educational environment, school nurses are in a position to observe, assess, educate and intervene when necessary.


Introduction to Forensic Sciences Within Healthcare Settings (3 units), Forensic Approaches to Blunt Force and Firearm Injuries (2 units), Forensic Approaches to Human Abuse Injuries (2 units), Crime Scene Preservation and Death Investigation in Healthcare Settings (1 unit), Occupational Considerations in Forensic Nursing (2 units), Forensic Approaches to Mental Health Assessment (1 unit), Courtroom Testimony by the Healthcare Specialist (1 unit), Forensic Photography in the Healthcare Setting (1 unit), and Forensic Approaches to Domestic Violence (1 unit). Analyze the social and political implications of escalating violence as it relates to law enforcement, criminal justice and domestic living. Being a Certified Forensic Nurse, CFN® can set you apart from your peers, affording you the recognition and respect you deserve, in both the medical community, and the legal arena. Excess credits obtained during that 3 year period will not be applied to the following recertification window. Forensic nursing practice is, according to the International Association of Forensic Nurses, (IAFN), the "application of nursing science to public or legal proceedings." Forensic nurses investigate real and potential causes of morbidity and mortality in a variety of settings. Subsequently, these pilot programs became structured to provide both physicians and licensed nurses with instruction on the comprehensive care of, and forensic evidence collection from, sexual assault victims.
Apart from practical experience under the auspices of a trained forensic doctor or nurse, there are generally four recognized methods of acquiring forensic nurse training. Upon the successful completion of the program, UCR issues a Certificate of Completion to the student participants. This certificate represents 14 University of California professional level course units, plus completion of an additional 2 elective units, which may be transferable to another academic institution, depending on that institution's policy. The Certificate of Completion signifies accomplishment in a recognized foundational course of study and as such is an invaluable asset in seeking practice in this forensic discipline. Professional certification recognizes an individual's experience and demonstrated knowledge in a profession or specialty. To become certified as a SANE-A, you must be a registered nurse (RN) for two years or more and meet all of the eligibility requirements. However, it is appropriate to comment that generally nurses are compensated at a higher rate by private major city hospitals than those employed by hospitals in a rural area, or by public hospitals in either location.
Meeting and establishing professional relationships with other forensic professionals, including crime scene technicians, medical examiners and attorneys is called "networking". In any legal case where medical issues are involved, nurse consultants could be considered to be practicing forensics.
In some areas nurses may actually practice as coroners, depending on the areas regulations for that position, or assist the medical examiner or forensic pathologist in that jurisdiction. Child abuse and neglect cases can be handled by forensic nurses depending on the protocols for that facility.
Correctional facilities also reflect the society at large, therefore the incarcerated population is aging and has a wide range of health issues that need to be addressed while serving their sentence. Employment is usually through the state civil service system, associated with the Department of Public Welfare. Participants are given assignments, homework, online quizzes or research projects with rigid due dates that are submitted via email to the instructor. The Certified Forensic Nurse certification is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognition Program®. Responsibilities range from collecting evidence from perpetrators and survivors of violent crime to testifying in court as a fact witness (someone who saw a situation firsthand) or an expert witness (someone who offers an opinion of a particular situation).
This led to the professional recognition of those completing such courses as SAFE, Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner, SANE, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, FNE, Forensic Nurse Examiner, SANC, Sexual Assault Nurse Clinician, and currently SAE, Sexual Assault Examiner. The Certificate of Completion issued by UCR after successfully completing the online forensic nursing course program, does not equate to an academic diploma signifying achievement of a recognized level of study, such as a BS, MS, or PhD. Additionally, this Certificate represents a total of four University of California professional level course units that may be transferable to another academic institution depending on its accrediting policy.
You must also pass the certification written examination developed by the IAFN Forensic Nursing Certification Board and the Center for Nursing Education and Testing. This organization is a non profit international professional organization of registered nurses whose goal is to develop, promote and disseminate information about the science of forensic nursing both nationally and internationally. Through networking you will establish a professional identity within the forensic community which will ultimately help. Nurses are highly regarded for their medical background, investigative abilities and documentation skills that they bring to this position.


Each facility will have protocols which specify who may examine and counsel pediatric victims. Some facilities are privately owned and hence hire their own healthcare staff or contract with healthcare companies to supply staffing needs. Nurses working in this role are responsible for psychiatric evaluation and treatment of criminal offenders by order of the court system.
The individual course modules are structured to provide both core content and an introduction to several sub-specialties within the discipline including death investigation, correctional nursing, forensic psychiatry, forensic photography and clinical forensic nursing. The Magnet Recognition Program recognizes organizations for excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice.
This Certificate, in addition to satisfying the 45-hours Continuing Education credit requirement of nurses licensed in California (and presumably similar requirements in other States), serves as a prerequisite qualifying the student participant to take the International Association of Forensic Nurses written examination, successful completion of which leads to its issuing to the examinee a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Certification, or SANE-A.
By contrast, a Certification denotes that the recipient, through the successful completion of a course of study satisfies those standards established by the professional organization awarding the certification, as in the instance of the International Association of Forensic Nurses' Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Certification, the recipient of which can use the awards acronym in their resume as well as identifying documentation, such as "Jane Doe, RN, SANE-A".
The University of California is an accredited institution and is generally recognized by other state agencies. The offenders are typically admitted to a state facility for a brief period of evaluation and then returned to the county jails for sentencing.
The role of the forensic specialist within the health care environment is emphasized throughout. A final exam for each course is provided online and can be accessed by the participant during a specified period of time.
The largest subspecialty of forensic nursing is sexual assault, closely followed by death investigation, forensic psychiatric nursing and medical-legal consulting. Bear in mind, that professional industry acronyms signifying a level of competence as established by a particular organization in that industry, while of value in defining standards of performance for the industry, do not of themselves imply that an otherwise fully trained professional in that industry, and in the absence of a performance level or achievement acronym, is less qualified or capable of performing at a superior level. The International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) will keep you informed of professional developments in the field of forensic sciences. If working out of the coroner's office, they typically can work scheduled time in the office as well as taking on call time. This specialty is closely tied to correctional nursing, violence issues with children at all age levels. Trauma, acts of violence, mass casualty incidents, sexual assault and human abuse are explored as they relate to evidence collection and preservation, documentation and follow-up procedures as performed by health care providers.
The units earned in the required classes are "post-graduate professional level" credit designed for professional and occupational advancement. In other words, thorough and proper training nearly always matches acronyms seeking to identify that level of achievement.
As their responsibilities evolve, forensic nurses are assuming increasingly diverse roles, in risk management, employee litigation, forensic nurse investigator, forensic clinical nurse specialist, forensic nurse educator, bioterrorism, domestic and international investigations of human rights abuse, psychiatric forensic nursing, forensic geriatric nursing, correctional nursing, emergency room forensic nursing, pediatric forensic nursing, sexual assault and domestic violence. All required courses are letter-graded and have undergone a rigorous approval process by UC Riverside.
During autopsies, nurse investigators work side by side with the forensic pathologist in collecting evidence to send to the lab for examination. Nationally recognized experts host discussion sessions and serve as links to mentors in selected forensic science specialties.
The most common roles are sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE), advanced practice forensic nurse or forensic clinical nurse specialist, nurse death investigator and nurse coroner. Upon successful completion of this 16 unit program, the participant will receive a Certificate in Forensic Nursing from the University of California, an accredited educational institution.




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