Professional Certificate in Forensic Nursing

Professional Certificate in Forensic Nursing

Online Program


9-18 months


16 Units


Pursue a wide array of career opportunities in medical examiners' offices, law enforcement agencies, social service agencies, and specialized hospital units. Help to collect and preserve evidence, or treat survivors of assaults or violent accidents.

Designed For

  • Registered nurses
  • LVNs/LPNs
  • Other licensed medical professionals

What You'll Learn

  • Identify and properly collect forensic evidence within the health care setting to withstand legal scrutiny.
  • Communicate with the various members of the multi-disciplinary forensic team.
  • Determine treatment for triage and emergency intervention for patients who exhibit potential forensic issues.
  • Identify basic policies and procedures required for conducting sexual assault examinations.
  • Analyze the social and political implications of escalating violence.

What You Can Do With This Certificate

Positions are available in a variety of venues including, but not limited to, a hospital, clinic, coroner's office, law enforcement office, law firm, correctional institution, or mental health office/facility. They might include:

  • Forensic Nurse
  • Forensic Nurse Investigator

Program Overview


14 Units


2 Units

“As a single mom, I am so thankful for the flexibility that UCR Extension offered while completing the Forensic Nursing Professional Certificate program. I was able to complete my tests and assignments at a time that was convenient for me, all the while being challenged daily by the knowledgeable experts in the forensic field.”

Laura Suess

Valley Children's Hospital of Central California
Madera, CA

Earning the Certificate

Prior to enrolling, please ensure that you meet ONE of the following minimum requirements:

  • Registered nurse
  • Licensed vocational nurse or equivalent
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Physician
  • Physician's assistant
  • SANE certified nurse
  • Licensed paramedic

ELECTIVE UNITS: Current SANE certification may be acceptable in lieu of university/college-level credit. A copy of your certification will be required. Please contact the Extension program coordinator for additional details.

UCR Extension is an accredited provider of California Board of Registered Nursing credit.

All courses provide California Board of Registered Nursing continuing education credit.

Registered Nurse continuing education totaling 20 hours or more may be acceptable in lieu of university/college level credit. These hours may be a combination of professional meetings, SANE training and other workshops where continuing education was earned.

For more information see How to Earn a Certificate

Certificate Courses

Our certificate programs are designed to be flexible, allowing you the option to take just a few courses or to earn the complete certificate. If choosing to complete the certificate, we recommend you get the most out of your experience by following the suggested completion path below.

Quarter 1

Introduction to Forensic Science in Healthcare Settings


3 units

Forensic Approaches to Blunt Force and Firearm Injuries

BMSC X465.1

2 units

Quarter 2

Crime Scene Preservation and Death Investigation in Health Care Settings

BMSC X465.2

1 units

Forensic Approaches to Domestic Violence

BMSC X465.8

1 units

Quarter 3

Occupational Considerations in Forensic Nursing

BMSC X465.4

2 units

Forensic Photography in the Healthcare Setting

BMSC X465.6

1 units

Courtroom Testimony by the Health Care Specialist

BMSC X465.7

1 units

Quarter 4

Forensic Approaches to Mental Health Assessment

BMSC X465.5

1 units

Forensic Approaches to Human Abuse Injuries

BMSC X465.3

2 units

Quarter 5


“UCR Extension was the first in the U.S. to launch an online Sexual Assault Examiner course (SANE). Whether or not one intends to practice as a forensic nurse, the education UCR Extension offers medical professionals is invaluable and will add another dimension to one's objectivity, professionalism, and assessment skills.”

Cari L. Caruso

RN, SANE-A, Owner & CEO
Forensic Nurse Professionals
Pasadena, CA

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