Forensic Nurse Jobs – An Expanding and Rewarding Career


Forensic nursing is a rapidly expanding field that applies advanced medical knowledge and skills within the criminal justice system. Forensic nurses work closely with law enforcement, attorneys, victim advocates, and other professionals to provide specialized care and consultation during investigations, legal proceedings, and beyond. For nurses seeking a challenging and meaningful career path, forensic nurse jobs offer diverse roles with the opportunity to make a real difference.

Skills and Duties

Forensic nurses utilize their medical background along with additional training in areas like psychology, criminology, and judicial procedures. Key skills and duties can include:

  • Examining and documenting injuries related to abuse, assault, or other crimes
  • Collecting and preserving forensic evidence
  • Consulting on medical aspects of investigations and court cases
  • Providing care and resources to victims throughout legal processes
  • Training law enforcement and legal personnel on medical and forensic issues

Forensic Nurse Specializations

While all forensic nurses share certain core duties, there are a few main specialization areas:

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs)

SANEs provide compassionate, trauma-informed care to sexual assault victims. Their duties include:

  • Conducting medical-legal examinations
  • Evaluating and treating injuries
  • Collecting, documenting, and preserving evidence
  • Providing court testimony

Death Investigators

Death investigator nurses determine cause, manner, mechanism, and time of death. They are involved in:

  • Scene investigations
  • Autopsies
  • Evidence processing and analysis
  • Consulting on homicide or suspicious death cases

Correctional Nurses

Correctional nurses care for inmate populations. They oversee healthcare delivery and advocate for patients within correctional facilities.

Job Settings

Forensic nurses work in various settings, including:

  • Hospital emergency departments
  • Community health clinics
  • Government agencies
  • Law enforcement crime labs and units
  • University trauma centers
  • Private forensic/legal nurse consulting firms

Education and Credentials

There are multiple education paths to enter forensic nursing:

  • Complete RN training and obtain state nursing licensure
  • Earn certification through professional forensic nursing boards
  • Complete a forensic nursing focused master’s degree program
  • Get direct job training from an employer like a police department

Many employers require or prefer professional forensic nurse certification, such as from the International Association of Forensic Nurses.

Career Benefits and Outlook

Pursuing forensic nurse job roles offers nurses unique benefits:

  • Career diversity with options to specialize
  • Opportunity to apply complex medical skills
  • Chance to help vulnerable populations
  • Ability to support justice and public safety
  • Competitive salaries with earning potential over $100K+

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts much faster than average job growth for forensic science technicians, including forensic nurses. Nurses with an investigative mindset and passion for their community are needed now more than ever.


Forensic nursing pairs medical skills with investigative work at the intersection of healthcare and law. For nurses seeking new challenges, forensic nurse jobs provide the chance to specialize, use advanced medical knowledge, work with diverse agencies and populations, support crime victims, and find meaning in public service. With competitive salaries and increasing demand expected, forensic nursing offers nurses an expanding and truly rewarding career choice.

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