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Q&A - Masters Degrees in Forensic Nursing

Can I work while studying for my masters degree in forensic nursing?

Because an MSN forensic nursing program is intended for practicing registered nurses who have already begun their forensic nursing careers, many students earning an on-campus or online masters in forensic nursing choose to keep working while in school. There are advantages and disadvantages to doing so.

One obvious advantage is that students who work while studying continue earning forensic nursing salaries while they are enrolled in school. This income can help offset the costs of your tuition while also ensuring that you further your career and gain valuable experience that will help you when applying for forensic nursing jobs after you graduate. If your salary is sufficient, you may even be able to pay for your masters degree without taking out loans.

A disadvantage in this is that your work and school schedule could conflict, leaving you missing valuable time in either or both, thus affecting your career or your grades. For this reason, some students decide to pursue an accredited online masters in forensic nursing, which is often offered by top universities in the country. Because the classes are online, they are more flexible and it is easier to schedule coursework and homework around your job.

Are there any scholarships for traditional or online masters students in forensic nursing?

There are a variety of scholarships available for graduate nursing students, but many are state or school-specific. For example, students applying for any number of graduate nursing degrees from Duquesne University, including its Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) forensic nursing program, may apply for a advanced education nurse traineeship, which is a grant for full-time or part-time MSN students, though the actual amounts awarded vary year to year. In addition, Duquesne and several other nursing schools provide research assistant and teaching assistant positions as a way to work off your tuition.

In addition to scholarships offered by individual universities, there are also organizations that offer nationwide scholarships for nursing graduate students. One of these is the Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association, a nonprofit organization that awards scholarships to qualified nursing students. Students enrolled in all branches of nursing are eligible to apply for scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $2,500. The foundation also offers additional scholarships that are specific to regions of the U.S.

In addition, there are scholarships specifically for minorities and veterans enrolled in MSN programs. You can find more of these on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) financial aid website.

Are there any notable people who have earned masters degrees in forensic nursing?

Forensic nursing is a relatively new field, and while forensic nurses today have very important roles to fill in the medical community, there are no notable celebrities with MSN forensic nursing degrees yet.

However, there have been many notable nurses in the past, such as Florence Guinness Blake, 1 of the first women to receive a masters in nursing, who earned her MSN from University of Michigan in 1941. Blake specialized in pediatric nursing, which she ended up teaching before she established and directed the graduate program in the advanced nursing care of children at University of Chicago in 1946. She authored many books on the subject that set the standard for pediatric nursing for years to come.

Another prominent woman in nursing was Virginia Henderson, known as “the first lady of nursing,” and her most significant contribution was to advance nursing theory. She was an early advocate for the inclusion of psychiatric nursing in nursing school curriculums. She received her masters in nursing education from Columbia University, where she would later teach several generations of nurses.

Betty Neuman was another nurse who advanced nursing theory. Having worked for nearly 20 years as a registered nurse, she became an advocate for public health and earned her masters degree in mental health, public health consultation, from UCLA in 1966.

Are there any brick-and-mortar colleges that offer an online forensic nursing masters degree program?

Several brick-and-mortar colleges offer a top online masters degree in forensic nursing. One of these is Fitchburg State University, which offers a Master of Science in Nursing online. Fitchburg State University is a public university based in Massachusetts, and its online forensic nursing masters program requires 36 credit hours, including 4 courses with a heavy clinical component. Fitchburg also has the advantage of being 1 of the most affordable forensic nursing masters programs in terms of tuition.

Another online forensic nursing masters program is the Master of Science in Nursing – Forensic Track from Cleveland State University. Cleveland State is a large public university with a student body of over 16,000, and its online and on-campus nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

One of the best online masters degree in forensic nursing is offered by Duquesne University, which has an MSN Forensic Nursing program as well as a post-masters certificate program. Duquesne’s School of Nursing was founded in 1937 and has a long tradition of quality. The forensic nursing masters program prepares students for an advanced career in the field or further study in 1 of the few nursing PhD programs with a forensic focus.