Forensic Nursing: An Overview

Nurses working in emergency centers often care for victims of intentional harm, criminal neglect, and accidents arising from illegal activities. These include patients who have been shot, stabbed, or otherwise assaulted with or without weapons; sexually assaulted or abused; injured in or by a motor vehicle; and victims of child abuse. When it is suspected or reported that a crime has been committed, a thorough physical examination, collection of trace evidence, and diligent documentation of all marks and injuries must be made without causing further physical or psychological harm to the patient. Because prosecution rates of various crimes are not as high as they should ideally be (many times due to insufficient or improperly collected evidence), it is hoped that this course may help to eliminate errors on the medical/forensic side of an investigation.

Forensic nurses are an important link between the medical and legal worlds. The purpose of this course is to inform nursing professionals about forensic evidence collection and documentation, being mindful of preserving evidence while managing critically injured patients, and making referrals to or requesting the assistance of forensic specialists.


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Outline key points related to forensic evidence preservation.
  2. Discuss best practices for the physical examination and interview of the forensic patient.
  3. Apply standards for the collection and documentation of forensic evidence.

Additional Information

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 2.00 ANCC
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Available Credit

  • 2.00 ANCC


Please login or register to take this course.

NetCE Course Number: 37104

This course is offered through NetCE.

To take this course you will be redirected to NetCE website. You must login or create an account with NetCE in order to complete this activity. 

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