I was contacted recently by a travel nurse looking for a new specialty. She wanted to continue traveling but wanted something new and different. I suggested she look into Forensic Nursing, a fast-growing field for travel nurses. I have had training and experience in this field. As a member of the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner)team, I gained insight into how important evidence collection is for a case.
I am writing about this specialty again since it is not one that most nurses would think about. Forensic Nursing is becoming one of the fastest growing nurse sub-specialties. A forensic nurse may need to spend some time and effort educating an employer of the value of having a forensic nurse on staff.
I started as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner for the county where I lived at the time. Completing a certification course at a local college opened the door to be hired by the team. Nowadays there are many online courses meeting the International Standards for Forensic Nurses.
What does a Forensic Nurse do?
A Forensic Nurse is a NURSE specialized in the field of forensics. She/he may provide care for victims or perpetrators of trauma whether intentional or accidental. This specialty goes beyond medical care. The nurse has knowledge of the legal system and includes evidence collection. Forensic Nurses have skills in injury identification, evaluation, and documentation. Nursing includes collecting evidence, medical testimony in court and consulting with law enforcement and legal authorities.
Board certification is not generally required to practice forensic nursing in most areas. Like many certifications, it signifies that a nurse is committed to the profession and an expert meeting the standards of the specialty. As with most nurse specialty certifications, there is a lower rate of errors in patient care. Many agencies pay higher rates for certified specialties.
Fast Growing Field of Forensic Nursing
A quick Google search provides information on the fast-growing need for Forensic Nursing. I found several open positions available at nursingjobs.org for travel forensic nurses. If you are already a Wandering Nurse check with your recruiter to see what might be available for facilities they work with.
Working as a SANE team member gave me a new found respect for the patient and legal authorities involved in sexual assault cases. Sexual assault patients frequently are turned away from facilities without evidence collection due to no SANE member on site. Local law enforcement officers will know where victims can go for evidence collection.
For more information on Forensic Nursing look at the International Association of Forensic Nurses site.
Safe and Happy Travels!!!!