Join date: Jun 6, 2022


The Path to a Career in Forensic Nursing

Most careers in forensic nursing will require you to earn an advanced degree in the field, usually a Master of Science in Nursing. Once you have your MSN, you may also need to pursue additional forensic nursing certification, depending on the specialty you wish to practice. For example, if you want to become a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), you will need to take a 40-hour class and log a further 40 hours of clinical training. Certification and guidelines will vary depending on whether you want to work with adolescents and adults, children, or the elderly. As with most nursing fields, you will probably need to purse continuing education throughout your career.

What You Need to Know About Forensic Nursingcollegefocus-img2

Before taking steps to work in the forensic nursing field, you should be aware that people in this helping profession are particularly vulnerable to burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma. In order to succeed in this field and avoid these occupational hazards, you’ll need to establish and maintain a good work-life balance. Burnout and compassion fatigue are most likely in those who don’t take the time to rest and recharge regularly.

You’ll need the support of those closest to you, because your career choice will affect them too, especially if you develop symptoms of burnout, compassion fatigue, or vicarious trauma. Compassion fatigue and burnout have to do workplace stress and typically affect helping professionals who don’t take the time to manage stress or replenish their inner resources.

Vicarious trauma, on the other hand, refers to a psychological disorder that occurs in helping professionals who must help others manage their own feelings of trauma. Secondary traumatic stress is also a risk; it affects those who have witnessed a traumatic incident or incidents. Both of these conditions can cause PTSD-like symptoms that include exhaustion, insomnia or hypersomnia, headaches, depression, anxiety, irrational fears, and relationship problems. Forty percent to 85 percent of helping professionals develop vicarious trauma or secondary traumatic stress.

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