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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Forensic Nursing

william f. connell school of nursing




In our work as nurses, we often encounter individuals who are victims of violence. What skills do we need to meet the needs of these individuals? The forensic nursing elective courses will help you answer this question, while preparing you to provide primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of violence, crime, and traumatic injury, as well as leadership and administration of forensic nursing. You will be involved in advancing forensic nursing science, developing policy, influencing legislation and collaborating with other healthcare, social services, and criminal justice system professionals to enhance the care of victims and perpetrators of violence. You will gain a deeper understanding of the cultural, racial, and ethnic context of violence.

Upon completion of the elective courses, you will be prepared to provide direct services to individual clients and families, provide consultation services, collect evidence from perpetrators and survivors of violent crime, and testify in court as a fact witness and evidence witness.



Boston College’s Connell School of Nursing has a history of excellence in forensic nursing. Dr. Ann Wolbert Burgess, professor of nursing and a pioneer in the field, has been practicing forensic nursing since before there was even a term to describe this work. She has been teaching forensics and victimology courses at Boston College since 2000. The forensics elective courses builds upon this strong foundation, with newly developed coursework designed from the ground up to be relevant for advanced practice nurses. You will benefit from an evidence-based, experience-driven curriculum that will give you both the skills and confidence to excel in the field of forensic nursing.



Forensic nurses work in a variety of areas and roles including: emergency and acute care settings; sexual assault examiner programs; adult protective services units; psychiatric forensic treatment and evaluation units; death investigation teams; and as forensic nurse investigators, educators, and consultants.


Pathways to Entry

The forensic nursing elective courses is offered to students from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds through a number of routes to entry and program options. Find your pathway to entry.


MS Plan of Study

Course description/schedule listings »

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