A forensic nurse is a nurse who provides
specialized care for patients who are victims and/or perpetrators of trauma
(both intentional and unintentional).
Forensic Nurses are NURSES first and foremost. However, the specialized
role of forensic nurses goes far beyond medical care; forensic nurses also have
a specialized knowledge of the legal system and skills in injury
identification, evaluation and documentation.
After attending to a patient’s immediate medical needs, a forensic nurse
often collects evidence, provides medical testimony in court, and consults with
legal authorities. Victims of violence and abuse require care from a health
professional who is trained to treat the trauma associated with the wrong that
has been done to them—be it sexual assault, intimate partner violence, neglect,
or other forms of intentional injury. Forensic nurses are also a critical
resource for anti-violence efforts. They collect evidence and give testimony
that can be used in a court of law to apprehend or prosecute perpetrators who
commit violent and abusive acts.