Study Forensic Nursing to become a Forensic Nurse


What is Forensic Nursing?

Forensic nursing is a new specialty within the nursing field that allows patient care and the medico-legal system intersect. Forensic nurses have an integral area of practice. Forensic nursing can bridge that gap between the office of the medical examiner, the police department and the hospital emergency room or hospitalized patient. Forensic nurse help to avoid the mishandling or omission of forensic evidence.One of the most novel faculties of Forensic Sciences is that of Forensic Nursing. It is more of the social and legal responsibility of the expert for ensuring the physical harmony and the fundamental rights of individuals who are the victims of painful eventualities. The expert nurses would be able to ensure physical and mental health of the victims of child abuse, elder abuse, domestic violence and violence against women. The trained nursing professionals may be able to help the victims by supplementing in the legal and fundamental rights those are due to them. They are able to assist in the medico legal investigations, management of mass disasters in victim identification and in all other legal aspects concerned with these. Ultimately they may render their services to the humanity when they are in deep distress. They are able to provide the clinical, psychological 
and legal assistance to the victims of unforeseen circumstances.

Need for Forensic Nursing professionals

According to the World Health Organization, each year nearly 2 million lives are lost around the world because of violence.Often, healthcare providers are the first to come into contact with a person who is a victim of violence, trauma, or injury. Comprehensive forensic healthcare education offers professionals the tools and knowledge to make a difference in their practice, promote collaborative community responses to violence, and design strategies for violence prevention

Study Forensic nursing in India

Gujarat Forensic Science University (GFSU) Gandhi Nagar is offering Post Basic Diploma in Forensic Nursing . It is a one year post graduate diploma programme which is conducted as a regular full time course.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Nursing with 55% marks in case of General category and 50% for SC/ST candidate

Application Format

  • Application forms are available at the time of admission on the website 
  • Demand draft of Rs.1000/- (non-refundable) in favour of “The Registrar, Gujarat Forensic Sciences University” payable at Gandhinagar
  • Applicant should write his/her complete name on the backside of the Demand Draft

Submission of Application Form

Duly filled in application form along with Demand Draft is to be sent by last date specified in a sealed envelope marked as “Post Basic Diploma in Forensic Nursing-2015-16” on the left hand side top corner of the envelope can be submitted either in person or by registered post or by courier on the following address

Contact Gujarat Forensic science University

Gujarat Forensic Sciences University
B/h. Police Bhavan
Phone no.: 079-65735518/519,+91-7965735520,Fax:  079-23256251

Distance and Online  Programs in Forensic Nursing 

Distance learning courses in forensic nursing are readily available via college and universities’ Web-based learning systems. Keep reading for information on how to take courses online.Online programs in forensic nursing tend to be offered at the certificate and master’s degree levels. Most programs require applicants to be licensed RNs, and many require a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

University of California – Riverside’s Distance Program  in  Forensic Nursing Certificate

UCR’s distance learning branch, called the UCR Extension, offers a certificate program in forensic nursing. Courses in this postgraduate program are divided into specialty areas of forensic nursing. Pls see the link

Fitchburg State College’s Online Program in Master of Science in Forensic Nursing

This master’s program is intended for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing. In addition to online courses, forensic nursing students arrange with clinics in their area to complete a total of 420 hours of practical experience. Link

Penn State’s Online Program in Undergraduate Certificate in Nursing Forensics

This 12-credit hour certificate program consists of four courses. It can be taken alone or as part of Penn State Online’s RN to BSN program, for nurses who do not yet have a bachelor’s degree. Link

Forensic Nursing Certificate at UCCS

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences are pioneers and leaders in forensic nursing education.  The College was among the first to recognize the need for formal education programs in Forensic Nursing and Health Sciences.  Often referred to as the “godmother” of forensic nursing education, Virginia Lynch MSN, RN developed the program from her abundant passion and knowledge for the field as well as to meet the ever growing need for forensic nurses.  Virginia, the founding president of the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN), continues her work in the area of forensic nursing today by speaking around the globe on topics related to the study and education of forensic healthcare. Link

Program offerings include

  • Undergraduate Certificate in Forensic Nursing
  • Graduate Certificate in Forensic Nursing 

Forensic Nursing Roles

  1. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE):  conducts medical-forensic examinations on victims and suspects of sexual assault, provides supportive care to victims and preserves the chain of evidence.
  2. Forensic Nurse Examiner: Works as part of multidisciplinary team to conduct medical-forensic examinations on victims.
  3. Nurse Coroner: Determines cause of death and assists the police to collect evidence at the scene of the crime. 
  4. Nurse Investigator: Investigates deaths and may, according to protocols, determine if an autopsy is indicated.
  5. Forensic Psychiatric Nurse: Assesses, evaluates and provides therapy for criminal defendants, and assists staff members who have witnessed assaults or experienced patient suicide. 
  6. Forensic Correctional/Institutional Nurse: specializes in the care and treatment of large institutionalized populations in prisons or psychiatric facilities, observes, documents and reports problems common to large institutionalized groups confined in close quarters
  7. Clinical Nurse Specialist: Serves as consultant and clinical expert to nursing staff working with victims of violence and in areas where the hospital and legal systems interface, and provides support and referral to victims of violence. 
  8. Expert Witness: Testifies in criminal and/or civil court cases, also referred  as a Legal Nurse Consultant
  9. Trauma Nurse: Functions in acute care hospital settings or emergency departments providing direct care or consultative capacity for victims of violence and their families