Domestic violence nurses, sometimes referred to as domestic violence nurse examiners, care for patients who have been victims of physical or emotional abuse within a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation. This relatively new and rapidly expanding specialty field is actually considered an offshoot of forensic nursing, and is an excellent option for anyone who has a keen interest in both the criminal justice system and medicine. Registered nurses within this specialty work in a wide range of settings, from community centers to hospitals to advocacy groups and support groups which are dedicated to serving victims of abuse. The primary responsibility of the domestic violence nurses is to help patients heal from and cope with any trauma that has resulted from physical, mental, and emotional domestic violence. Moreover, these nurses are in charge of keeping precise and accurate patient records that may be used as evidence in the court of law. Domestic violence nurses need to be highly empathetic, sensitive, supportive, and understanding in order to provide the most compassionate care to traumatized patients.
Common duties that domestic violence nurses are tasked with may include:
Common job settings for domestic violence nurses include:
Beginning a career as a domestic violence nurses means first becoming a licensed registered nurse. After becoming licensed, prospective domestic violence nurses can choose from a number of options to advance toward their career goals. Some will choose to become trained as sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs), while others will look to gain a Certification in Forensic Nursing (CFN). Lastly, for the incredibly ambitious, there are advanced degree programs which can position graduates nicely for the Advanced Forensic Nursing Certification (AFN-BC).
The minimum educational requirements must be met to become a domestic violence nurse:
* For the advanced foresing nursing certification, graduate degrees are also required
Yes, due to the complex and sensitive nature of the work they perform, domestic violence nurses are required to hold active and unencumbered RN licenses, typically with a BSN degree or higher.
Although they're not always required, domestic violence nurses who are looking to be as competitive as possible in the job market are advised to seek the following certifications:
To be eligible for the Forensic Nurse Certification which is offered by the American Institute of Healthcare Professionals, the following requirements must be fulfilled:
Domestic violence nursing can be emotionally draining, since the vast majority of your patients will be victims of physical, psychological, or sexual abuse. To be effective in this career, you'll need to possess a level of psychological stability and emotional maturity that's uncommon to most people. Having these traits will allow you to better assist victims of domestic violence to overcome the challenges that they're faced with following an assault.
According to PayScale.com, the average yearly salary for forensic nurses is approximately $65,000. The employer, city/state, clinical experience level, and educational backgrounds of the nurse are all important factors that will contribute to earning potential. Aside from their base salaries, domestic violence nurses can expect to receive benefits packages which are likely to include medical, dental, vision, and prescription insurance coverage. An annual allotment of paid time off and/or sick leave is also typical for this profession.