Online Accelerated Programs have the same curriculum and requirements as their on-site counterparts. They do however come in condensed form which facilitates faster completion as compared to traditional programs. The Accelerated Forensic Nursing Certificate Program as offered by Kaplan University can be completed in four (4) months. Accreditation is provided by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
The program is especially designed to allow nurses to leverage their nursing experience for use in the field of investigative science. Registered nurses with forensic education are assigned critical roles in forensic teams. Acquired skills can be used in addressing the needs of both the victims and the law enforcement agencies.
Forensic nurses may be called upon to collect evidence, take tissue and blood samples, treat survivors of assaults or violent accidents, treat victims of neglect/abuse or violent crimes, identify injuries and/or death and their causes, preserve and document the chain of evidence custody, and to refer victims for required follow-up care. Possible work environments include medical examiners’ offices, social service agencies, law enforcement agencies, and specialized hospital units.
Required Courses include Forensic Physical Assessment and Evidence Collection, Forensic Psychological Assessment/Interview/Report Writing, Death Investigation, The Courtroom Experience, and Crisis Intervention and Planning and Implementation of Follow-up Care. Prospective students must possess an RN license. The regular certificate program has a length of twelve (12) months.
Forensic nurses basically fall under three (3) categories: sexual assault nurse examiner, death investigator, and forensic nurse investigator. This profession combines healthcare and the judicial system profession.