Forensic Nurse Salary In The United States
As you may already know, forensic nurses are highly trained health care professionals who specialize in collecting evidence and in different criminal procedures. Forensic nurses are not like regular nurses, because besides the basic nursing skills they also need to have a great eye for detail as well as in-depth criminology knowledge. This is a stress-filled position, yet it is very financially rewarding given the fact that the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics show that forensic nurses are paid with an average yearly wage of $65,000. The lowers median yearly salary for a forensic nurse is of $50,000, while the highest one can exceed $200,000 a year, if the medical professional turns out to be very experienced and skilled.
Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States
The forensic nursing salary depends a lot on the field of forensic you specialize in as a medical professional, your field of work as well as your level of education. Forensic nurses typically have a Master’s degree in their field of activity, and they also get post-masters certifications as well.
The salaries can vary a lot from one state to another, and the top three states that pay forensic nurses the most are the state of New York, the state of Texas as well as the State of California, the latter being the best location for those who want to work in this field, as the median yearly salary here is of around $95,000, which is much above the national average. At the opposite end, there are the states of Iowa, Alabama, Nebraska as well as Tennessee.
Forensic Nurse Job Description
Forensic nursing is one of the numerous different types of nursing education, and it is also one of the most stressful yet highest paid types, at the same time. Forensic nurses are professionals who are well-aware of the laws, rules and regulations that apply in the state where they work, who have in-depth health and forensic science knowledge and who know the legal systems.
Forensic nurses typically deal with victims of various crime, violence and traumatic events, such as victims of pediatric trauma, domestic violence, sexual assault as well as victims of rape. It is not uncommon for forensic nurses to work closely with other professionals from the industry, such as coroners, law officers, police officers and such.
Also, these professionals can be found working anywhere from the local coroner’s offices and hospitals to police departments and even in various correctional facilities. It is the duty of the forensic nurse to help law enforcement gather evidence and aid in the crime scene investigation – also, their testimony may be required in court as well, especially during murder trials.
Given the fact that forensic nursing is a very stressful and demanding industry, it is very important for these health care professionals to stay calm and focused, even in the most demanding and upsetting environments. Also, they must possess good communication skills and empathy, since they will be working with victims of sexual assaults and violence. In some cases, the forensic nurse may even need to gather crime scene evidence from the victims, and this certainly involves a great deal of skill.
How To Become A Forensic Nurse?
- Nursing - Associate of Applied Science
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- Practical Nursing - Associate of Occupational Studies
- Licensed Vocational Nurse
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If you have decided to pursue a career in forensic nursing, then you have already taken the first step, as deciding to do so is often the hardest yet the most important thing you need to do. After that, you need to get yourself a degree in the field of Nursing. Most forensic nurses opt for an Associate’s Degree in the Science of Nursing, or for a Bachelor’s Degree in the Science of Nursing, as they are the easiest and the fastest nursing degrees you can obtain.
After you get your degree, it is important to get your license as this will allow you to practice your profession, and the next step is to get practical, hands-on experience. Most forensic nurses choose to do that by working closely with other professionals and helping them in sexual assault nursing, investigating the suspicious deaths of various people and such.
Forensic nurses can choose to specialize in one of the numerous subfields of this industry: they can become educators and teach others, or they can turn into expert medical witness who will testify during trials. It is extremely important for forensic nurses to understand that in addition to education, you also need to possess good critical thinking skills and to be very compassionate, given the fact that you will be working with people who were subjected to severe trauma. Patience, on the other hand, is equally important for these professionals.
Forensic Nursing Certification
It is important to have a license or an advanced forensic nursing certification if you want to practice forensic nursing in the United States, as all the states require you to do so. The first stem towards getting licensed is to sit and pass the exam administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. After that, you get your certification that is typically provided by the ANCC (acronym that stands for the American Nurses Credentialing Center). In order to be eligible for the certification, you need to have an active Registered Nurse license, at least two years of experience in the nursing industry as a registered nurse and at least 2,000 hours of practice in forensic nursing.
Forensic Nurse Salary In Uk, Canada And Australia
The forensic nursing salary in the United Kingdom is of around 32,000 pounds, although it typically ranges between 26,000 and 50,000 pounds, depending on your experience and your geographical location. In Australia, on the other hand, certified and licensed forensic nurses make up to AU$82,000, while a Canadian forensic nurse has a median yearly wage of C$70,000.
Verdict On Forensic Nursing Salary
Becoming a forensic nurse is more than just the salary, which often turns out to be very motivating – this job requires a lot of passion, compassion, ambition, determination and care, as you will be working with victims that have been through a series of traumatic events. The salary for forensic nurses is certainly very high, no matter if you are an entry-level nurse or a rather advanced one.