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Distance Learning Forensic Nursing Associates Degree Programs

Forensic nursing is a growing career field for seasoned nurses, and distance learning programs in this field are not available at the associate degree level. Learn about online program options and common courses found in distance learning forensic nursing certificate and master's degree programs.

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Essential Information

A forensic nurse assists law enforcement in the collection and analysis of evidence and also treats victims of assault and abuse. Associate degree forensic nursing programs are not available, but those seeking online training can find online certificate and master's degree programs that introduce current registered nurses (RNs) to the forensic side of healthcare. While some of these programs are available in a fully online format, other programs do have some on-campus or clinical requirements that may require a student to visit campus once or twice during the course of the program.

Nurses pursuing this type of distance learning degree program are most likely registered nurses who are looking for additional ways to increase their income and work experience. Once the forensic nursing program is complete, nurses can help law enforcement by offering healthcare expertise in criminal cases that involve medical findings. Since forensic nursing is a specialized career, some employers may prefer candidates who have earned board certification from the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN).

Online Learning

Unlike a degree program in a traditional campus environment, students in a distance learning forensic nursing program attend classes and interact with classmates and instructors online. Some schools offer distance learning forensic nursing programs that use self-paced courses and utilize online discussion forums that provide a collaborative learning environment where nurses can learn from the experiences of other nurses.

Program Descriptions

Undergraduate Certificates

Undergraduate certificate programs are available online for current RNs or Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who are looking to explore a new career path. The program can be completed in 1-1.5 years and often requires the completion of 12-16 credits. Coursework may include classes in forensic science, forensic documentation, crime scene preservation and injury recognition.

Master's Degrees

Distance learning forensic nursing master's degree and graduate certificate programs include many of the same core forensic courses, though the master's degree programs also include courses in advanced practice nursing and nursing research. Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs can take anywhere from 1-6 years to complete, depending on the students enrollment status. Applicants are generally required to have a current RN license and have already completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program. Core forensic courses include subjects such as:

  • Introductory forensic nursing
  • Caring for victims
  • Caring for perpetrators
  • The legal system
  • Trial preparation

Graduate Certificates

Applicants to an online graduate-level certificate programs in forensic nursing are often required to have already completed - or be currently enrolled in - a MSN program as well as be licensed RNs. These programs often require about 18-21 credits and can be completed in 1-2 years. Fully online programs are available.

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  • Areas of study you may find at Louisiana Tech University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Nursing Professions
        • Registered Nurse
      • Nutrition Services
  • Areas of study you may find at Boise State University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework, Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
        • Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
        • Registered Nurse
      • Public Health and Safety
  • Areas of study you may find at Northern Kentucky University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
        • Mental Health Nursing
        • Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner
        • Nursing for Adults and Seniors
        • Pediatric Nursing
        • Registered Nurse
  • Areas of study you may find at Eastern Kentucky University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
        • Registered Nurse
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • Areas of study you may find at Troy University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
        • Registered Nurse
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
        • Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
        • Nurse Assistant or Patient Care Assistant
        • Registered Nurse
  • Areas of study you may find at The University of Montana include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
        • Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
        • Registered Nurse
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions

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