Nursing students who are weighing their options for earning a Bachelors of Science in Nursing might ask the question, “What is the value of a BSN?” It’s a fair question. After all, they want to make sure a bachelor’s in nursing is worth the investment of time, money and energy.
A recent article in Nurse Journal noted that while an associate degree “can qualify one to become an RN in most states, earning a BSN will often bring higher pay and better job options.” Many healthcare employers are now requiring RNs to have BSNs for certain positions, like ICU nurse or surgical nurse.
At Sumner College, if you are a registered nurse wanting to advance your career and your education, the RN to BSN Program is a great option for you. Our program is offered 100% online and can be completed in just 13 months, allowing you to work while you pursue your educational goals.
While most people are completely aware of the current boom in the most conventional areas of nursing, few people are familiar with the growing opportunities that exist in the field of nursing from the forensic perspective. What is forensic nursing? This unconventional field of nursing extends into a number of different professions that expand the responsibility of the practitioner beyond the normal duties required for care. The training for this type of nursing differs from that required of traditional nurses as well.
WHAT DO FORENSIC NURSES DO?
In general, this nursing specialty specifically focuses on the care of victims and criminals that have suffered bodily harm. This care requires that the nurses act on behalf of the legal system in addition to performing duties related to healthcare. While caring for individuals, forensic nurses are tasked with gathering forensic evidence related to the circumstances surrounding the given incident.
FORENSIC NURSING IS AN EMERGING PROFESSION
This field is relatively new. It was not until 2015 that the International Association of Forensic Nurses started offering two specific certifications that focus specifically on this specialty. These concentrations are defined as the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner for Adolescents and Adults and the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner for Pediatrics. This sub-specialty is actually one of the fastest-growing fields of nursing in the healthcare industry today.
HOW DO YOU BECOME A FORENSIC NURSE?
While the actual educational path may vary, there are some common approaches that people take when hoping to break into this field of study. So, how do you become a
forensic nurse? The first step is to become a Registered Nurse (RN) through the traditional academic avenues. Following this accomplishment, most students are required to engage in at least 40 hours of classroom training in addition to 40 hours of clinical training.
Once this requirement has been satisfied, nurses are equipped to apply for their certification as one of the two types of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) positions. This certification allows forensic nurses to establish positions in hospitals and other branches of the healthcare industry where rape, sexual assault, and other legal situations arise. In some areas, this nursing degree is sufficient for people to serve as a death investigator or even coroner in certain situations. Nurses hoping to have the greatest number of career opportunities in their future based on this specialty should also explore the option of taking a more direct route.
A Story from a Neonatal Critical Care Nurse
In the almost 40 years Rosie Warr has worked as a nurse, more than half of her Christmas Days have been spent at work looking after the little lives of those too young to look after themselves.
The critical care nurse and midwife will co-ordinate the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Flinders Medical Centre on Christmas Day.
“You have to remember that for all of our babies and their families, this is their first Christmas,” Ms Warr said.
She begins to smile as she describes the activities which unravel on the ward as Christmas Day begins.
Babies are dressed in Christmas outfits or covered with festively decorated quilts and nurses create Christmas cards with the footprints of each baby stamped inside.
“Father Christmas comes, and that is chaos because the siblings and all of the brothers and sisters of the babies come in,” Ms Warr said.
Image Credit -Premature baby Jaxon Beimans in his Christmas outfit and blanket.(ABC Adelaide: Brett Williamson)
This Christmas story was written by a nurse we’d call Any Nurse. And just like most nurses, she wasn’t too eager to work on Christmas Day. In fact, she dreaded the shift from the moment her alarm clock woke her up.
But just like most nurses, Any Nurse had to go to the hospital. As soon as she started her shift, IV alarms started beeping, call lights were ringing, and pharmacy techs became busy delivering medications.
While she was busy trying to get an IV in one stick on a patient who badly needed a blood transfusion, a code blue was paged. Her heart jumped and skipped a little imagining that someone’s loved one was coding on such a special day.
Down the hall, she saw Valerie. She’s a 2-year old burn patient, a victim of a kitchen accident. Any Nurse hoped that Valerie wouldn’t have any disfiguring scars. Just imagining Valeria at 13 years old and dealing with those scars made her heart hurt. Any Nurse has a 2-year-old kid.
She went on to help Anita, her nursing assistant. They bathe a 76-year-old patient who was admitted with a stroke. The two of them combed the patient’s thinning hair and applied a red lipstick to her lips. With the patient’s garbled speech, she managed to say “Thank you, dear.”
On her way back to the station, Any Nurse answered a call light from a patient who was cold. She went to the supply room and found several blanket warmers. As she gave one to her patient, she saw her smile as the warmth seeped in.
After her shift, Any Nurse felt really excited to go home, share her day with her husband, and cuddle with her healthy kids.