Forensic Nurse Educator

Forensic nursing is the newest specialization in nursing and is still very much a growing field. In fact, it was not until1995 that forensic nursing officially became recognized as a specialty of nursing by the American Nurses Association. Despite its newness, it is an extremely important component in nursing, connecting healthcare and nursing with the law. Often people are uncertain as to what forensic nursing is about. Generally, forensic nurses examine and evaluate victims of crime, gather evidence, investigate cause of death or assist survivors, and often testify in court. They are trained to be aware of evidence during their healthcare work, and bring their healthcare expertise to the judicial side and help solve crimes and testify. There are many subspecialties as well, with some FNPs focusing on aiding sexual assault victims, or the dangerously mentally ill, or investigating suspicious deaths. Forensic nurse educators tackle people’s misperception of forensic nursing by educating not only nursing students, but also physicians, other nurses, attorneys, teachers, law enforcement officers, child services workers, and other medical workers.

Forensic nurse educators not only teach what forensic nursing is about, but they also teach continuing education and certification courses. They can teach classes in pediatric and adult SANE certification (sexual assault nurse examiner), as well as classes focusing on child abuse, elder abuse, domestic violence. They teach the history of forensic nursing, violence and vicitmilogy, criminology, courtroom testimony, as well as evidence collection, preservation, and documentation. Because forensic nursing covers so much ground, they often bring in experts or real-life specialists to lecture and provide more detailed insight into specific forensic nursing jobs, such as nurse death investigators, forensic psychiatric nurses, or forensic nurse examiners.

Many forensic nurses do not work full-time in this specialty, but work part-time or on call in addition to another full-time nursing job. This applies to nurse educators as well. The jobs are not plentiful, but it is very much a growing field and has a secure future in nursing. A forensic nurse educator is likely to travel to teach at professional conferences, or conduct online distance learning as well. These teaching opportunities are important because not all universities or colleges have forensic nursing programs.

According to payscale.com, nurse educators in general earn an average salary of $44,941 to $61,858 in the first four years of their career. After that it goes up to $51,003 to $72,369, and continues to climb. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing educators with a doctoral degree earn an average of $48,084, and those with a master’s degree earn $43,488. Salary will also of course vary greatly based on employer, region, and experience. If you are interested in becoming a nurse educator, you will need to become a licensed registered nurse at the very minimum. Most educators earn their master’s degree of science in nursing, and many also earn their doctorate. Earning a master of science in nurse education is one option, or you could earn your master’s in forensic nursing. There are different paths you could take to becoming a forensic nurse educator, but all involve additional education and some forensic experience and education.

This is a great career for you if you want to combine your love of forensic nursing with teaching, and if you want to have a role in forming forensic nursing curricula. They play an important role in educating interested nurses in forensics, and are essentially creating the next generation of nurses in this field.

Accredited Online Nursing Programs for Forensic Nurse Educators

Monmouth University - Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies

Monmouth University offers a Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Forensic Nursing Online. The Monmouth University - Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

Programs Offered: Certificate - Forensic Nursing (Online)

Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing

Baccalaureate and Master's Program Accreditation: CCNE and NLNAC

Programs Offered: Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - Forensic Nursing (Offered Online)

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