Forensic Nurse Practitioner
Luzerne County Child Advocacy Center - Wilkes-Barre, PA

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Forensic nurse practitioners specialize in treating the victims of violence which can include sexual abuse of children. Forensic nurse practitioners assist police investigators in gathering forensic evidence and provide medical advice to law enforcement agencies. During legal proceedings, you may be called into trials to testify as fact or expert witnesses.

Your job as a sexual assault examiner is to collect evidence that will help prosecute the perpetrator of the sexual assault. You'll provide care for sexual assault victims as evidence is collected and during the recovery process. While caring for patients, you'll examine both their mental and physical health. Your records on the patient's physical and mental status, evidence you have collected and other observations may be used in legal proceedings. The forensic nurse usually takes photographs of the victim, and collects and preserves evidence. Forensic nurses may testify in court regarding what they personally witnessed, or they may simply testify as general experts in the field.

This role is a crucial and delicate one, as the various needs of the victim and the legal system may be challenging to navigate. Forensic nurses typically work in a multidisciplinary team which includes hospital personnel, law enforcement, victims’ advocates and attorneys.

Individuals must have a bachelor's degree in nursing. Nurses with a bachelor's degree must have a license to practice nursing. Forensic nurse practitioners must obtain a graduate certificate or a master's degree in forensic nursing. Certification credentials such as the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner-Adult/Adolescent (SANE-A) and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner-Pediatric (SANE-P) are recommended.
Qualifications include: Current, active RN license Two years full time as a registered nurse Graduate degree in nursing, forensic nursing Minimum of 2,000 practice hours in the specialty area of forensic nursing within the last 3 years Minimum of 30 continuing education hours in the specialty area of forensic nursing within the last 3 years Fulfill two additional professional development categories, to be selected from the following list: Academic Credits Presentations Publication or Research Preceptor Professional Service