Forensic Nurses provide care to victims of crimes and collect DNA evidence. They can investigate aspects of a crime and often have to testify in court as to their findings. They may also work within the prison healthcare systems. American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) have developed a way to evaluate Advanced Forensics Nurses by reviewing the collective body of work present in a nurse's portfolio.
Forensic Nurses have a few different options for earning their credentials. One way is their portfolio recognition. This is a different evaluation process than certification to determine if an applicant meets all criteria. For portfolio recognition, the applicant submits a detailed electronic submission (called a portfolio) that included degrees, transcripts, continuing education, preceptor ship, case studies, faculty evaluations, published articles, and other such information. Evaluators (a group of your forensic nurse peers selected for their expertise) analyze the evidence submitted in the portfolio and evaluate against predetermined criteria. If all criteria are met, then recognition is awarded. No exams are administered for portfolio recognition. For a certification an evaluation is done through a regular exam.
As a forensic nurse, you can expect to make somewhere between $26 and $100 dollars an hour which translates to roughly $54K to $208K per year. This salary range is extremely broad, but just like other nursing specialties, salary will increase with tenure and experience.
International Association of Forensic Nurses, 2009
American Nurse Credentialing Center, 2009
The Forensic Nurse, 2009