Legal nursing programs are commonly available as graduate and post-graduate certificate and master's degree programs. These programs prepare graduates to work with lawyers, perform research, review legal cases and testify as expert witnesses. Schools commonly offer online programs in the field, with clinical components completed locally in the students' communities. A bachelor's degree in nursing is usually a prerequisite for a legal nursing certificate or degree program, with post-graduate certificate programs requiring a related master's degree.
Fitchburg State University
Located in Fitchburg, Fitchburg State University's Department of Graduate Studies offers forensic nursing programs that provide online graduate- level studies for licensed nurses seeking legal nursing training. Students can choose between a master's degree in forensic nursing and a postgraduate certificate in forensic nursing.
Designed for those with a nursing bachelor's degree, the master's degree program can usually be completed in less than three years. Students learn about advanced practice nursing, nursing theory, legal issues, medical forensic investigation and trauma support. Students also participate in a local clinical placement and complete a research project or thesis.
The postgraduate certificate program is for those with a master's degree and combines the study of nursing science with scientific and legal investigation, criminal justice and the treatment of trauma victims. While some of the coursework can be completed online, students must complete 360 hours of hands-on forensic nursing experience a clinical site.
University of Massachusetts - Lowell
The University of Massachusetts - Lowell offers a forensic criminology graduate certificate program jointly through the Division of Continuing Studies and the Lowell Department of Criminal Justice. This online program is suitable for current graduate students or a variety of professionals seeking further legal education, including nurses and health care professionals. Those interested in legal nursing can choose two elective courses, such as mental health and criminal justice, criminological theory, forensic psychology, criminal profiling and substance abuse.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School||School Type & Setting||Programs Offered||Graduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Fitchburg State University||4-year, public; midsize suburb|| MS in Forensic Nursing,
Postgraduate Certificate in Forensic Nursing
|University of Massachusetts-Lowell||4-year, public; large suburb||Certificate in Forensic Criminology||$15,060 (in-state), $26,840 (out-of-state)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator