Clinical nursing, within the law enforcement includes the treatment of victims of sexual assault, child abuse, accident victims, trauma and the investigation of the culprits. Within the combination of medical and legal expertise, forensic-nursing includes investigation of death and treatment of the victims at psychiatric centers. Due to the steady rise in the crime rate and the successful role of forensic nursing within the judicial system, the demand for qualified nurses is high.
Role Of Forensic Nurses
Although nurses have always contributed positively to the treatment of victims and criminals, their importance has been realized and acknowledged only recently. Forensic nursing, a relatively new term, combines the services of medical science and judicial practice, to benefit mankind. Forensic nurses play a key role within the judicial system. They not only collect the evidence and forensic information pertaining to the trials, but also give their testimony in the court of law whenever required.
Collection of evidence, with the help of medical skill and information, helps in making justice available to the victims of violence and abuse, quicker. These nurses work at all levels to promote health and help the victims and perpetrators of violence to cope with the situation. Forensic nurses not only help the victims, but also their loved ones. They act as advocates and health educators to the families and the community. With the ever-increasing crime rate, the demand for forensic nurses is rising. The positions available include jobs at the healthcare and psychiatric facilities, county prosecutors, coroners’ offices, medical examiners and insurance companies.
Forensic Nursing As A Career
There is a broad spectrum of jobs opportunities available in the field of nursing. Forensic nurses gather medical evidence and information to testify in trials within the jurisdiction and hence they also serve as legal nurse consultants. Although no nursing degree is required to qualify for the position of a forensic nurse, there are a number of degree programs available for those interested in making a career in this profession. These degrees offer a variety of courses and programs in forensic nursing, most of which are available online also.
Nursing students interested in becoming forensic pediatricians or geriatrician nurses need to complete a basic certification course. MS, with a counseling certification is essential for those interested in becoming forensic psychiatric nurses. Since there is a demand for nurses, there is also a continuous increase in the wages offered as well. According to statistics, this placement option in the field of forensic science will be in great demand in the near future.
This new branch in the field of forensic science, which combines the health care profession with the legal practice, offers an opportunity to help not only the victims, but also their families. For people who really want to make a difference and help the law enforcement process, forensic nursing as a profession is an exciting and rewarding career.