Forensic Travel Nurses


Many years ago I worked as a correctional nurse in our local county jail.  The medical department of the jail was staffed by a contracted agency which hired RN and LVN staff.  The department was responsible for providing medical care for inmates.  We did the intake health examination of the arrestee and then continuous care during their incarceration.  We monitored their medication and treatments. Our physician completed health examinations as needed.

Forensic medicine is interesting and challenging.  When you enter into a correctional facility you are behind the same locked doors as the inmates.  The facility where I worked had a no hostage policy. That policy meant you neded to be on your toes when providing care. Most inmates are appreciative for the care you provided while they are in the facility.

In recent years the need for forensic nurses has opened the door for travel nurses to fill the role.  So exactly how do you become a forensic travel nurse?

What is a Forensic Nurse?

A forensic nurse is one who provides care to individuals who may be victims and/or perpetrators of trauma.  The trauma could be intentional or unintentional.  Forensic Nurses are licensed first and foremost and then certified in forensic nursing. Training in the field of forensic nursing goes far beyond medical care. Forensic nurses have specialized knowledge of the legal system and skills to identify injury to include evaluation and documentation.  Attending to a patient’s immediate medical needs is the priority but forensic nurses will often collect evidence, provide medical testimony in court, and consult with legal authorities.

Different types of Forensic Nurses

Forensic nurses can work in a variety of fields.  I was at one time a member of the sexual assault exam team as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner or SANEs.  You may work in the field of domestic violence or child abuse and neglect.  Another area is in elder abuse or mistreatment.  Some investigative departments may hire nurses for death investigation or to assist a coroner in autopsy,  You can also be helpful in the aftermath of mass disasters.  Lastly, the department of corrections or local jails may hire nurses to provide medical care.

Who can become a Forensic Nurse?

Obviously, forensic nursing is a nursing specialty so you would need to be a Registered Nurse. The level of education required is based on the specialty you choose.  The facility may have specific requirements for their nursing staff as well.  Registered nurses may want to start out as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and there are additional requirements for certification.  Learn more about becoming a forensic nurse.

There are several Forensic Nursing Specialties and you can learn more here

If you are looking for a job in California with a corrections facility get in touch with AYA Healthcare

New York has several corrections openings so check with Talemed  


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Cheryl Roby, RN

Cheryl J. Roby is a Registered Nurse and retired US Army Reserve Nurse Major. She has more than 30 years of nursing experience and 26 years of military experience in the Army Nurse Corp. During her nursing career, she has traveled as part of her military experience visiting many of the 50 states and to South Korea. She was trained as an Army Medic during the Vietnam era and later as an OR tec. She went on to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and then completed her nursing training as a Registered Nurse. She was then commissioned as an officer in the Army Reserves. She appreciated the challenge of working in various specialties and expanding her clinical and professional skill sets. Her time in the Army Reserves and California National Guard gave her the opportunity to travel to most of the 50 states and work in other medical facilities. During her career, she had the opportunity to work in several specialties to include, OR, Occupational Health, Hospice, Sexual Assault Team, Forensic/ Correctional Nurse, Nurse Case Manager for developmental disabilities, Parish Nursing as well as a Nurse Entrepreneur.

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