Forensic Nursing

Forensic nursing practice is "application of nursing science to public or legal proceedings." Forensic nurses investigate real and potential causes of morbidity and mortality in a variety of settings. Forensic nursing responsibilities range from collecting evidence from perpetrators and survivors of violent crime to testifying in court as a fact witness (someone who saw a situation firsthand) or an expert witness (someone who offers an opinion of a particular situation). Forensic nurses understand evidence collection, such as forensic photography, for subsequent legal and civil proceedings and are the "bridge between the criminal justice system and the health care system." Skills of the forensic nurse include but are not limited to: observation, documentation, and preservation of evidence, all critical in determining the legal outcome of violent crimes. The largest subspecialty of forensic nursing is sexual assault, closely followed by death investigation, forensic psychiatric nursing and medical-legal consulting.

The U.S. market for forensic products and services was valued at more than $10.9 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach $11.2 billion in 2013. BCC Research projects the market to grow to $16.3 billion by 2018, and register a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8% from 2013 to 2018

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