Forensic Nursing Career Profile and Description

A forensic nurse acts as both a medical and a legal professional. She provides medical and legal evaluation for all patients, who have experienced violence or who are victimized by sexual assault. The nurse develops and implements a plan of care for the victims of the violence.

They have to meet the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) standards of practice while conducting the forensic examinations. This job position is a very important one and it utilizes specialized knowledge and nursing skills in order to provide appropriate care to different age group of patients.

Forensic Nursing Duties and Responsibilities

The essential functions of a forensic nurse are as follows:


  • Assessing the physical, psychological, social, developmental and discharge planning needs of the patients.
  • Reviewing the patient’s history and other essential information.
  • Reviewing the laboratory data and reports, for the complete assessment of the complete patient needs.
  • Revising and making necessary modifications in the plan of needs by evaluating the patient’s status periodically.
  • Providing patient care based on the physician orders and according to the standard policies and procedures.
  • Participating in the research activities included within the clinical practice.
  • Participating in the education and role development of the patients and the families.

Forensic Nursing Skills and Specifications

The necessary skills are as follows:

  • Ability to deal with the victims of violent crime in an objective manner.
  • Ability to cope and perform the job well in stressful situations.
  • Basic photography knowledge.
  • Knowledge of community resources for victims of crime.
  • Sound skills in injury assessment and documentation.
  • Must be able to work in coordination with the patient advocates and law enforcement agencies.
  • Good communication skills and interpersonal skills.

Forensic Nursing Education and Qualification

  • Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Nursing
  • Must possess a valid current, temporary or compact RN in the state of practice.
  • BLS certification required.
  • Candidates, who have completed the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, will be given preference.
  • Candidates, who have completed Critical Incident Stress Management education, will be preferred.

Forensic Nursing Salary

The entry level forensic nurses generally make $73,339 per year. And, those with relevant experience earn an annual median salary of $87,801.

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