Registered nurses (RNs) with bachelor's degrees can now pursue an online post-baccalaureate certificate in forensic nursing at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON). Pending approval from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the online option replaces the former post master's Certificate in Advanced Forensic Nursing (CAFN) option. The program prepares registered nurses to serve individuals in need of comprehensive forensic nursing assessments and care following intentional injury, non-intentional injury, and disasters.
"This new option is a significant step in preparing nurses to meet the ever-growing challenges of injury and disaster victims," said associate professor Dan Sheridan, PhD, RN, FNE-A, FAAN. Sheridan adds that as a post-baccalaureate program, it also offers students who successfully complete the 10-credit certificate, the opportunity to apply eight credits to requirements for the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) in forensic nursing master's degree.
Based on current published research and evidence-based forensic practices, the program focuses on the standards established by the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN), and the current Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Training Module. Upon completion of this option, the graduate will have the skills to:
- recognize injury pathology throughout the life span
- conduct advanced forensic nursing assessments of inflicted trauma
- assess and document various forms of family, elder, and intimate partner abuse/neglect
- collaborate with criminologists, members of the justice system, and related healthcare professionals
- demonstrate key elements necessary for comprehensive emergency and disaster preparedness
Clinical experiences can include a diverse range of environments including emergency and acute care departments, sexual assault examination programs, child and/or adult protective service investigation units, psychiatric forensic treatment and evaluation units, death investigation teams, and governmental and non-governmental agencies.
It is recommended that this program be completed in two consecutive semesters. Applications are now being accepted for Spring 2011. Visit the forensic nursing certificate web page for more information and admission requirements.