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10 Best Online MSN in Forensic Nursing Programs – 2023
Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Are you a registered nurse with an interest in the law who wants to earn a master’s degree in nursing? Does the idea of helping victims of crime or finding ways to bring criminal offenders to justice intrigue you? Have you considered becoming a forensic nurse? If so, an MSN in forensic nursing program is an excellent way to earn a higher degree and advocate for victims.
Perhaps you considered becoming a forensic nurse but feel you do not have the time it takes to travel to and from campus to earn your degree. If so, an online program could be a perfect choice! Maybe you like the idea of distance learning but wonder, “What are the best online MSN in forensic nursing programs?” If this sounds like you, keep reading! In this article, I will share the 10 best online MSN in forensic nursing programs for 2023 and give you information about how to get into a top program, what to expect as a student, and discuss some career opportunities and earning potential.
RECOMMENDED ONLINE MSN PROGRAMS
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE GOAL OF AN ONLINE MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING PROGRAM?
The primary goal of the best online MSN in forensic nursing programs is to prepare registered nurses to practice at a graduate level, specializing in forensic nursing. These programs aim to provide students with a background in forensic nursing theory and clinical experiences. Students learn to assess, diagnose, and evaluate patients who may have been the victims of a crime and alleged offenders. Online MSN in forensic nursing programs equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to advocate for justice for victims.
7 MOST IMPORTANT SKILLS AND ABILITIES YOU WILL GAIN IN AN ONLINE MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING PROGRAM
Forensic nurses need a specific set of skills to succeed. Online MSN in forensic nursing programs are designed to help you develop those skills. While there are unlimited skills, characteristics, and traits of successful forensic nurses, the following are seven of the most important you will gain in these programs.
1. Online MSN in forensic nursing programs will teach crisis intervention techniques:
As a forensic nurse, you may be one of the first people to see or treat victims of assault or other crimes. As such, it is crucial that you know how to approach clients and create an atmosphere that fosters a feeling of safety. As a student in MSN in forensic nursing online programs, you will learn methods of implementing crisis intervention techniques, including how to communicate effectively during a critical incident and help reduce the stress associated with the event.
2. You will learn to collect and preserve critical evidence:
One of the most critical skills you will learn in MSN in forensic nursing online programs is how to collect and preserve critical evidence. This skill is paramount in forensic nursing as the evidence you collect could make or break a case.
3. Online MSN in forensic nursing programs will teach you to use trauma-informed care as part of a holistic approach:
Trauma-informed care is an approach to patient care that considers the client's past and present life situations and the root cause of any previous trauma to determine a course of action for care. This approach to care is especially helpful in forensic nursing as it helps nurses to realize the impact of trauma on a patient and the likelihood of their ability to cope with a current issue based on their individual experiences.
4. You will learn therapeutic communication techniques to help deal with victims of trauma or assault:
When a person is a victim of trauma, assault, or some other crime, it is easy for them to isolate and refrain from communication. Unfortunately, an inability to communicate could jeopardize the outcome of these cases. In online MSN in forensic nursing programs, you will learn to prioritize your client’s well-being and develop rapport using therapeutic communication techniques.
5. You will learn the art of forensic history-taking and documentation:
Accurate and thorough documentation is a vital skill for all nurses, regardless of degree level or specialty. However, forensic nursing requires an even higher level of accuracy and detail. In MSN in forensic nursing online programs, you will learn how to take a detailed history and document information used by physicians, other healthcare providers, law enforcement, and prosecutors.
6. Online MSN in forensic nursing programs will teach you to work with criminal offenders:
One side of forensic nursing that many people overlook is that offenders and alleged offenders must also be interviewed, cared for, and may be the source of crucial evidence. As a forensic nurse, you may collect blood, urine, or other samples for laboratory testing. You may perform a history, physical, and cognitive interview on offenders and prepare documentation to support whether you believe a perpetrator can participate in his own defense.
7. You will develop strong observation skills:
Despite your best efforts, you will face situations when some victims find it difficult to articulate their thoughts and feelings or explain what has happened to them. In situations like this, your ability to observe your patient's behavior, their expressions and to assess their physical appearance is paramount to providing efficient care. MSN in forensic nursing online programs will teach you what to look for in patients who are victims of assault or trauma. You will learn to observe a patient for guarded responses when a suspected perpetrator is present, their affect, and their responses to your care.
5 MAIN ADVANTAGES OF ONLINE MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING PROGRAMS
Before enrolling in MSN in forensic nursing online programs, it is a good idea to weigh the pros and cons to determine if this is the right college and career path for you. The following are five of the main advantages of online MSN in forensic nursing programs.
1. You will play an important role in promoting safety in communities:
The knowledge and skills you acquire in online MSN in forensic nursing programs will be instrumental when it comes to building cases and holding offenders accountable for their behaviors.
2. MSN in forensic nursing online programs prepare you to advocate for victims of abuse:
As a forensic nurse, you will represent the best interests of patients who are victims of abuse or other trauma. Your knowledge of forensics and ability to collect and certify evidence will be useful to law enforcement and prosecutors as they build cases against perpetrators. Your experience will be valued and can be leveraged in situations where patients need an advocate.
3. There are many career paths available for forensic nurses:
Depending on what interests you most, you can choose from diverse careers in forensic nursing. Graduates of online MSN in forensic nursing programs work within the legal system and testify as expert witnesses or in lawyers' offices. You may prefer a clinical setting, such as working in a mental health clinic, inpatient psychiatric unit, or a hospital.
4. You can use your skills to open a consulting firm:
If you ever dreamed of starting your own business, you can do it with a degree from one of the best MSN in forensic nursing online programs. With the knowledge you gain and the skills you perfect in this program, you can open your own consulting firm. As a forensic nurse consultant, you can be a valuable source of information and resources to law enforcement, prosecutors, and victims. You can set the hours and rates you want for your business, which means more time and money freedom!
5. You can choose a subspecialty:
One of the awesome things about forensic nursing is that you are not limited to one broad specialty. There is a broad range of subspecialties from which you can choose to concentrate your career. A few examples include adult or pediatric sexual assault nurse examiner, human trafficking, death investigations, psychiatric mental health forensic nursing, and elder or child abuse. No matter which specialty interests you, online MSN in forensic nursing programs will prepare you with the foundation, knowledge, and experiences to succeed!
3 MAIN DISADVANTAGES OF ONLINE MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING PROGRAMS
A career as a forensic nurse has its advantages. However, like any academic career pursuit, online MSN in forensic nursing programs also have disadvantages. Knowing what to expect can help you make an informed decision about whether this program is the best option. The following are a few disadvantages to consider when researching these programs.
1. You must collect the facts without allowing room for personal prejudices:
As a forensic nurse, you will handle disturbing cases. Whether you work on a case of pediatric sexual assault, human trafficking, or elder abuse, it can be easy to allow personal feelings to get in the way of clinical judgment and objectivity. MSN in forensic nursing online programs will teach you how to approach cases, but it is up to you to address issues of personal prejudices or times when the situation is too much to handle alone.
2. One mistake can cause dire consequences:
As a forensic nurse, you may be responsible for collecting and securing vital evidence. You must demonstrate meticulous practices and follow guidelines carefully. Even the smallest mistake could result in contaminated or incomplete evidence and may jeopardize a case.
3. Being a forensic nurse is emotionally draining:
No matter how long you have been a forensic nurse or the number of cases you work in, it can be difficult to escape the emotional toll involved with this job. Your job as a forensic nurse requires you to work with people during some of the most difficult times in their lives, and the toll it takes on you can impact your emotional well-being. Although MSN in forensic nursing online programs teach you proper ways to approach delicate situations, they cannot prepare you for what it feels like when these situations arise. In this case, experience is the best teacher.
WHO ACCREDITS MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING ONLINE PROGRAMS?
The two main accrediting agencies for MSN in forensic nursing online programs are the ACEN, or Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, and the CCNE, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
WHEN DO MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING ONLINE PROGRAMS START?
Online MSN in forensic nursing programs have slightly different start dates, depending on the size of the school and available faculty. Some programs offer one or two start dates each year. Others offer rolling admission and several start dates. Before applying, be sure to verify application deadlines and start dates to find the program best for you. The following are a few examples of when some of the nation's best programs begin.
At Duquesne University
, the MSN in forensic nursing online program offers three start times each year. You may choose to begin the program in the spring, summer, or fall semesters
• Xavier University
accepts applications for its MSN in forensic nursing online program on a rolling basis, with classes beginning three times annually
in January, May, and August.
At Cleveland State University
, the MSN in forensic nursing online program accepts students in the fall semester
• DeSales University’s
MSN in forensic nursing online program begins four times each year. Students may choose to begin classes in the spring, summer, fall, or winter semesters
• Fitchburg State University
accepts applications for the online MSN in forensic nursing program on a rolling basis and offers multiple start dates each year
, depending on the number of applicants.
HOW MANY CREDITS ARE THERE IN MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING ONLINE PROGRAMS?
Each school offering MSN in forensic nursing online programs determines its curriculum based on state and federal guidelines and accreditation requirements. Some programs require as few as 25 credits, while others offer a curriculum with 60 or more credits. Some students may require fewer credits than others, depending on whether there are transferrable credits from their previous degrees. The list below outlines the credit requirements for five of the nation’s top programs. These credit requirements are absent of any transferable credits.
At Duquesne University
, the MSN in forensic nursing online program includes a 36-credit hour curriculum
Students enrolled in the online MSN in forensic nursing program at Cleveland State University
complete 27 credits
. The curriculum is comprised of 18 credits of advanced nursing courses and nine credits from the forensic nursing concentration.
The online MSN in forensic nursing program at Mount Mercy University
is a 36-credit hour program
At De Sales University
, the MSN in forensic nursing online program includes certification in investigative forensics. The program features a 51-credit-hour curriculum plan
The Fitchburg State University
online MSN in forensic nursing program requires students to complete 39 credits
HOW LONG ARE MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING ONLINE PROGRAMS?
Online MSN in forensic nursing programs vary slightly in length, ranging from 16 to 36 months. The main factor determining the time it takes to graduate is whether you choose to enroll in a program part-time or full-time. While part-time programs typically take three years to complete, some schools offer extended study plans. The following are some examples of program length at some of our featured schools.
Students enrolled in the online MSN in forensic nursing program at Oakland University
who attend full-time typically graduate in 28 months
. Part-time students usually take three years to complete the program.
• Stevenson University’s
MSN in forensic nursing online program can be completed in as few as 24 months
At Xavier University
, full-time students can complete the online MSN in forensic nursing program in two years
. Part-time students typically follow a three-year program plan.
The online MSN in forensic nursing program at Mount Mercy University
takes 16 to 17 months
At DeSales University
, the MSN in forensic nursing online program is offered in part-time and full-time
formats. Full-time students can expect to complete the program in two years. Part-time students usually graduate in three years.
HOW MUCH DO MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING ONLINE PROGRAMS COST?
If you are interested in enrolling in one of the top MSN in forensic nursing online programs, one of your main concerns may be the cost. Programs range in cost from $13,000 to almost $60,000. A few factors to consider are whether a school charges different rates for in-state and out-of-state students, if you receive financial aid, scholarships, or grants, and the cost of fees and other supplies. The following list offers examples of the cost of some of the best online MSN in forensic nursing programs. The prices listed are for tuition only.
Tuition for the online MSN in forensic nursing program at Duquesne University
At Xavier University
, the MSN in forensic nursing online program costs $687 per credit hour. The program features a 36-credit hour curriculum, which means tuition costs approximately $24,732
• Cleveland State University
charges tuition based on a student's residency status. In-state students pay $531.40 per credit, and out-of-state students pay $541.40. The program requires students to complete 27 credits. Therefore, tuition costs between $14,347.80 and $14,617.80
Students enrolled in the MSN in forensic nursing online program at DeSales University
complete 51 credits at a rate of $910 per credit. Therefore, tuition for the program costs an average of $46,410
The cost of tuition and fees at Aspen University
for the online MSN in forensic nursing program is $13,318
. Cost may vary, depending on the number of transferable credits you have and any additional fees, textbooks, and supplies.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM GPA REQUIRED TO GET INTO ONLINE MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING PROGRAMS?
One of the most important criteria admission faculty consider when reviewing admission applications is a candidate's academic record. Most schools require applicants to have a cumulative college GPA of at least 3.0. However, the minimum requirement or guidelines for conditional admission may vary. The following are examples of the GPA requirements for admission at five of this article's featured online MSN in forensic nursing programs.
WHAT ARE THE ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR ONLINE MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING PROGRAMS?
Once you decide that pursuing your degree through MSN in forensic nursing online programs is your goal, the next step is to find programs and begin applying. Admission criteria vary among schools. However, general guidelines are similar. For example, candidates typically need a BSN degree, a current RN license in good standing, and relevant work experience. Schools may require applicants to submit a Statement of Intent, admissions essay, and professional references, as well as other documentation. The following are examples of the admission requirements for five of the nation's best online MSN in forensic nursing programs.
At Xavier University
, prospective students seeking admission
to the online MSN in forensic nursing program must be registered nurses with an active, unencumbered license and at least one year of work experience. Candidates must have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing earned through a CCNE- or ACEN-accredited nursing program and a regionally accredited college or university. Candidates must submit a free online application
, one official transcript from any college or university attended, and a current resume or curriculum vitae. Additionally, a three-page goal statement and three professional recommendations are required.
• Admission requirements
for the MSN in forensic nursing online program at Stevenson University
include the following. Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree in nursing from a regionally accredited college or university with a cumulative college GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale. Candidates must provide official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended, a Personal Statement, an admissions essay, and a professional resume.
At DeSales University
, prospective students for the online MSN in forensic nursing program must have a current RN license without restrictions and a BSN from a regionally accredited program. Applicants must submit official transcripts from their BSN program, three letters of professional recommendation, and a professional resume. Additionally, a two-part admissions essay and an admission interview
• Cleveland State University’s
MSN in forensic nursing online program requires candidates
to have a BSN with a minimum college GPA of 3.0 and completion of an undergraduate Statistics course with a minimum grade of “C.” Applicants must provide two letters of recommendation, an admissions essay, a professional resume, and transcripts from any post-secondary school attended. Candidates must have and maintain an active license to practice as a registered nurse without restrictions.
Admission to the online MSN in forensic nursing program at Fitchburg State University
is contingent upon meeting the following criteria
. Applicants must be registered nurses with at least one year of work experience and possess a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited college or university. Candidates must submit official transcripts from a regionally accredited baccalaureate nursing program, three letters of professional recommendation, a professional resume, and curriculum vitae.
WHAT KIND OF COURSES WILL YOU TAKE IN ONLINE MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING PROGRAMS?
Online MSN in forensic nursing programs feature a course-rich curriculum. You will take core master’s level courses as well as specialty-relevant classes. Although the names of classes may vary among schools, the content featured in accredited programs is relatively similar. The following are examples of some of the classes students in MSN in forensic nursing online programs take.
The online MSN in forensic nursing program at Oakland University
features a rigorous curriculum
. Students enrolled in the program study the following courses: Forensic Nurse Death Investigation, Interpersonal Violence & Maltreatment, Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Management, Advanced Pathopharmacology Across the Lifespan, Advanced Pharmacology Across the Lifespan, and Foundations of Forensic Nursing Science.
At Stevenson University
, the online MSN in forensic nursing program includes classes
such as Sociopolitical & Cultural Influences on Families, Organizations, & Communities, Expert Witness Preparation & Practice, Foundations of Justice, Advanced Health Assessment, and Introduction to Forensic Nursing.
Students enrolled in the MSN in forensic nursing online program at Xavier University
, including Forensic Aspects in Population Health, Psych/Social/Legal Aspects of Forensics, Foundations of Forensic Nursing, Applied Interprofessional Collaboration, Healthcare Informatics, Nursing Leadership & Management Concepts.
At DeSales University
, the online MSN in forensic nursing program curriculum
includes classes like Forensic Science and the Courtroom, Forensic Psychology, Advanced Crime Scene Investigation, Behavioral Criminology, Medicolegal Investigation, and Forensic Anthropology.
• Classes in the MSN in forensic nursing online program
at Fitchburg State University
include Introduction to Forensic Nursing, Scientific Foundations for Forensic Nursing Interventions, Forensic Nursing: Caring for Victims, Forensic Nursing: Caring for Perpetrators, Criminal Law: Substantive & Procedural, and Advanced Pathopharmacology & Epigenetics in Forensic Nursing.
WHAT KIND OF PRACTICAL TRAINING WILL YOU UNDERGO IN ONLINE MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING PROGRAMS?
An important component of any nursing program is practical training. Although MSN in forensic nursing online programs offer distance-based coursework, students must also complete hands-on training. The clinical requirements vary from one school to the next. As you research programs, an important question to ask is what the clinical requirements are and who arranges clinical sites and preceptors. The following are a few examples of the practical training requirements for some of the programs featured in this article.
At Duquesne University
, students enrolled in the online MSN in forensic nursing program complete 225 hours of hands-on clinicals
. Students are encouraged to locate clinical sites within their home region and to identify prospective clinical preceptors. All sites and preceptors are approved through the university.
• Xavier University’s
MSN in forensic nursing online program includes two clinical practicum experiences and a Scholarly Project. The university offers clinical placement assistance to help you secure clinical sites and preceptors close to your home region as much as possible. Most students complete a minimum of 600 clinical practicum hours
Students enrolled in the online MSN in forensic nursing program at Cleveland State University
complete 500 hours of experiential learning
. Clinicals are held in your local community and arranged in collaboration with your academic and clinical advisor.
At DeSales University
, students enrolled in the online MSN in forensic nursing program complete 75 Clinical Laboratory Hours, and 375 Clinical Practicum hours, for a total of 450 hours
. Hands-on clinicals are divided into two forensic practicum experiences. Additionally, students complete a Capstone Portfolio.
The MSN in forensic nursing online program at Fitchburg State University
includes 420 hours of practical training
. You may identify clinical practicum sites and preceptors and submit requests for approval to your clinical advisor, who makes the final decision about placement.
5 IMPORTANT PERSONALITY AND CHARACTER TRAITS THE BEST ONLINE MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING PROGRAMS LOOK FOR IN APPLICANTS
In addition to meeting academic and licensure criteria for admission, MSN in forensic nursing online programs also look for character traits in applicants. Schools that offer these programs want to know that candidates are a good fit for their programs and capable of handling program and career requirements. The following are five important personality and charter traits the best online MSN in forensic nursing programs look for in applicants.
The details surrounding forensic cases involve sensitive information and difficult conversations. Although it could be easy to sugarcoat things when dealing with clients, that is not in their best interest. Instead, forensic nurses must be honest with clients, explaining the reason for tests, examinations, and procedures that need to be followed. Honesty, even in difficult situations, helps patients feel secure and establishes a solid nurse/patient relationship. Admission faculty for MSN in forensic nursing online programs understand the importance of honesty and look for applicants with good moral character.
2. Good work ethic:
Online MSN in forensic nursing programs involve a rigorous curriculum and clinical practicum experiences that require applicants to be driven and willing to work hard. Admission teams will review your professional resume and any relevant work, volunteer, or academic experiences and look for evidence that you can take on the responsibility of the program with a likelihood of success.
Your job as a forensic nurse will involve caring for patients during some of the most traumatic times in their lives. As such, online MSN in forensic nursing programs look for candidates with the ability to show empathy.
When you pursue a degree through an online program, like online MSN in forensic nursing programs, you must demonstrate the ability to be self-disciplined. Unlike campus-based programs, your one-on-one interaction with faculty and peers may be limited. Admissions faculty understand the demands of online learning and look for candidates capable of being self-motivated.
The job of a forensic nurse can be emotionally overwhelming at times. You will work with patients who have suffered sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Despite your best efforts to remain unaffected, the job can be mentally taxing. MSN in forensic nursing online programs seek applicants who are mentally and emotionally resilient, capable of acknowledging their feelings and pushing through tough situations to get the job done.
WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING PROGRAMS IN THE NATION?
(The following are the 10 Best Online MSN in Forensic Nursing Programs in the nation for the year 2023.)
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WHERE DO GRADUATES OF ONLINE MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING PROGRAMS MOSTLY WORK?
MSN in forensic nursing online programs prepare graduates for work in many different environments. Where you work can sometimes be as important as the type of work you do, as working in the right work environment, one that fits your pace will help you thrive professionally. The following are some of the top settings where graduates of online MSN in forensic nursing programs work.
1. Hospitals Emergency Departments:
Many graduates of online MSN in forensic nursing programs work in hospital emergency departments. In this setting, the forensic nurse is one of the first people to interview and examine victims of a crime. Your role in the emergency department will involve assessment, evidence collection, documentation, and consultation with the interdisciplinary team and law enforcement, and other supporting agencies.
2. Legal Offices:
Some forensic nurses work for private attorneys or as consultants for state prosecutors. In this setting, you may gather data, evidence, and reports relevant to a pending case to help in the defense of an alleged offender or to build a case for the prosecutor. As a graduate of MSN in forensic nursing online programs, your in-depth knowledge of the law and nursing makes you an excellent candidate for a job in one of these settings.
3. Correctional facilities:
Another popular job setting for online MSN in forensic nursing programs graduates is in correctional facilities. You could work in an adult or juvenile facility providing care to inmates convicted of, or awaiting trial, for alleged crimes.
5 BEST JOBS FOR GRADUATES OF ONLINE MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING PROGRAMS
Graduates of online MSN in forensic nursing programs have several options for jobs, depending on their interests. The following are five of the best jobs graduates of these programs work and information about each for you to consider.
1. Forensic Psychiatric Nurse:
As a forensic psychiatric nurse, you may work in a hospital or mental health facility providing care to psychiatric patients. Your role may include evaluating victims to determine the effects of the traumatic event or offenders to determine if they are mentally capable of participating in their own defense at trial.
2. Legal Nurse Consultant:
In some cases, graduates of online MSN in forensic nursing programs work as forensic nurse consultants, either for the prosecution or defense attorneys. In this job, you could work on various legal cases providing valuable insight into healthcare. You may provide your professional opinion on a case or evaluate a patient and help piece together information about an event that occurred.
3. Forensic Correctional Nurse:
Forensic correctional nurses typically work in correctional facilities where offenders are held. Some forensic correctional nurses work on secure hospital floors or psychiatric units where offenders are being treated. This role involves assessing and providing care for inmates and providing feedback to the appropriate authorities about their progress.
4. Forensic Nurse Investigator:
A forensic nurse investigator typically works as part of an investigative team to determine causes of death, especially if the event was unexpected or is suspected to be due to violence. In this role, you will collaborate with nurse coroners, death investigators, and law enforcement.
5. SANE – Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner:
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners provide care to victims of sexual abuse. SANEs compile important data, collect evidence, and keep meticulous records which are used in criminal cases to bring sexual offenders to justice.
WHAT STARTING SALARY CAN NEW GRADUATES OF THIS PROGRAM EXPECT?
The starting salary for graduates of MSN in forensic nursing online programs is $23.85 per hour, $954 on a weekly basis, or $4,130 monthly. This pay is equal to $49,600 annually.
WHAT AVERAGE SALARY CAN GRADUATES OF MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING ONLINE PROGRAMS EXPECT?
On average, graduates of online MSN in forensic nursing programs can expect to make $35.42 per hour, $1,417 per week, and $6,140 per month. The average annual income is equivalent to $73,675.
10-YEAR JOB OUTLOOK FOR GRADUATES OF MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING ONLINE PROGRAMS
For graduates of online MSN in forensic nursing programs, the job outlook is quite good. With an expected increase in jobs of at least 45.68%, you can expect to find excellent employment opportunities. This positive outlook, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is expected through 2031!
|(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)|
IS THE COST OF AN ONLINE MSN IN FORENSIC NURSING PROGRAM WORTH THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)?
One of the greatest concerns prospective students have when choosing a career path and college program is whether it will pay off in the end. The best way to determine if a degree or career is worth the investment is to compare the cost of your program to your earning potential.
For example, the cost of the best MSN in forensic nursing online programs featured in this article ranges from $14,000 to $60,000, which is an average of $37,000. The average starting salary for program graduates is more than $49,000 annually, with an overall average of nearly $74,000 yearly. When you compare the cost of earning a master’s degree with a forensic nursing specialization to your expected income, the return on investment is positive.
BONUS! 3 MAJOR CHALLENGES YOU WILL FACE AS A FORENSIC NURSE AND HOW TO OVERCOME
While there are some great things about forensic nursing it is important to understand that the career come with challenges. To ensure that you can overcome these struggles, it is best to face them head-on and take steps to prepare! The following are three challenges you will face as a forensic nurse and tips for how to overcome them.
CHALLENGE #1: Forensic Nursing is STRESSFUL!
About the Challenge:
No matter how good you are at what you do, forensic nursing is a stressful job. You will work with victims, their families, and often with offenders. The severity of some cases can leave you feeling overwhelmed to the point where you may question your career choice.
How to Overcome:
Although you cannot prevent a forensic nursing career from being stressful, you can prepare yourself for what the job requires. Online MSN in forensic nursing programs will teach you the importance of teamwork, which takes some of the load off you. Additionally, it is crucial that you be honest with yourself when you feel like the job is too much. Feeling overwhelmed does not mean you have to throw in the towel. It may, however, mean you need to take a step back, practice some self-care, and regroup. After all, it is hard to care for others when we are not caring for ourselves.
CHALLENGE #2: It can be hard to leave work at work.
About the Challenge:
I remember one of my previous nursing instructors telling the students in my class that nurses need to "leave work at work." Although she meant well and was right, to an extent, it is not always easy. When you work as a forensic nurse, you will work on cases that feel personal. Whether you were a victim of a crime or know someone who was or feel a connection with a victim, there are times when you will go home with work on your mind. It is great to care about patients and their situations, but it is also crucial that you know where to draw the line so that work situations do not impact your personal life.
How to Overcome:
The truth is that sometimes this challenge is extremely difficult to overcome. As nurses, we feel compassion and empathy for our patients and their situations. The best way to address this challenge is to first realize that it is okay to feel for your patients and their loved ones and to want to see a positive outcome. Second, you must also realize that you cannot fix every person or situation. Be intentional about doing an efficient job while you are at work. Then, hand off your assignments and cases to the person coming in after you. Plan things that you enjoy to help create a healthy balance in your life and distract you from some of the unpleasantness of the job. Finally, if you feel overwhelmed, talk to a supervisor for guidance.
CHALLENGE #3: Remaining objective can be challenging.
About the Challenge:
In addition to caring for victims and their families, forensic nurses often provide care to offenders and alleged offenders. It can be easy to take cases personally, making remaining objective a major challenge.
How to Overcome:
As difficult as it seems at times, success as a forensic nurse requires being objective. Faculty in online MSN in forensic nursing programs will teach you measures to promote objectivity. However, the best way to overcome this is to gain experience. The more you work in this field, the better your coping skills will become. The best thing you can do when it comes to addressing this challenge is to be self-aware. It is okay to feel angry or frustrated when you see a client who has been injured or traumatized.
However, you must keep your emotions in check and remember that your job is to gather important information (whether it is from the victim or the offender, or both). If the situation feels too emotionally charged for you and you find remaining objective difficult, the best thing to do is ask your supervisor (or instructor if you are in school) to assist and guide you in handling the situation.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
If you love nursing and the idea of helping victims of crime, you have probably asked, “What are the best online MSN in forensic nursing programs?” This article is meant to give you insight into these programs, including what it takes to get admitted, the cost of the programs, and information about what you will learn. The 10 best online MSN in forensic nursing programs for 2023 featured in this article offer proven track records of student success and are excellent options to pursue your degree as a forensic nurse.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT
1. What Is The Best Online MSN In Forensic Nursing Program In The Nation?
Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is home to the best online MSN in forensic nursing program in the nation.
|Duquesne University - Pittsburgh, PA|
2. Is It Easy to Get Admission Into Online MSN In Forensic Nursing Programs?
Admission to any graduate nursing program, including online MSN in forensic nursing programs, can be competitive. Candidates must have a specific GPA, nursing license, and work experience, and pass strict criminal background and drug screening tests.
3. What Is The Minimum GPA To Get Into MSN In Forensic Nursing Online Programs?
Most online MSN in forensic nursing programs require applicants to have a minimum college grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. However, there may be some exceptions depending on the students’ experience and the universities’ policies.
4. Can I Get Into MSN In Forensic Nursing Online Programs With A Low GPA?
Some MSN in forensic nursing online programs accept students with a GPA lower than their preferred grade point average. In these cases, the school typically considers the candidate’s overall academic experience, work experience, and other factors and may only offer admission if certain conditions are met.
5. What Is The Typical Cost-Per-Credit For MSN In Forensic Nursing Online Programs?
The cost-per-credit for online MSN in forensic nursing programs varies. Some schools charge as little as $300 per credit, while others charge $1,000 or more.
6. Can I Work Part-Time And Complete This Program?
Many students work part-time while enrolled in MSN in forensic nursing online programs. The decision to work while in school should be weighed carefully and discussed with your employer and academic advisor.
7. Can I Work Full-Time And Complete This Program?
It is possible to work full-time while attending an online MSN in forensic nursing program. However, it is important to consider your scheduling options carefully. Many students who need to work full-time choose a part-time study option to accommodate both schedules.
8. What Are The Hardest Classes In Online MSN In Forensic Nursing Programs?
It is a matter of opinion which classes are the hardest in online MSN in forensic nursing programs. Many students say classes like Forensic Methodologies, Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics, and Medicolegal Investigation are the most challenging.
9. How Much Do New Graduates Of This Program Make?
New graduates of online MSN in forensic nursing programs earn approximately $46,600 annually.
10. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Make Per Hour?
Graduates of MSN in forensic nursing online programs earn an average of $35.42 per hour.
11. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Per Month?
The average monthly income for graduates of online MSN in forensic nursing programs is $6,140.
12. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of MSN In Forensic Nursing Online Programs Make Per Year?
The average yearly salary for graduates of online MSN in forensic nursing programs is $73,675.
Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).