Jun 23, 2024  
Fitchburg State University 2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
Fitchburg State University 2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing (Forensic Nursing) Graduate Certificate (online)

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Forensic Nursing Graduate Certificate (Online)

Graduate Program Chair

Deborah A. Stone, PhD, RN

Graduate Committee

Althea Aranda, MS, RN

Karen Beaton, MS, MSB, RN-BC, CNE

Tara Mariolis, Ph.D., RN, CNE

Deborah A. Stone, PhD, RN

Certificate Overview

This program provides an opportunity for advanced practice nurses who hold a master’s degree in nursing from accredited programs to acquire a specialization in forensic nursing.  Forensic nursing is the application of nursing science to public or legal proceedings and the integration of the forensic aspects of health care with the bio-psycho-social education of the professional nurse.  Students are prepared to deal with the prevention, scientific investigation, and treatment of victims of trauma and/or death as well as the investigation and treatment of perpetrators of abuse, violence, criminal activity and traumatic accidents.  The program is offered completely online.

Admissions Standards and Criteria

Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling admission basis.  Admissions requirements are as follows:

  • An official transcript of a master’s degree in nursing from a regionally accredited institution
  • A current RN’s license*
  • A personal statement of career goals
  • Professional Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Graduate application and fee

*Applicants who reside and/or work outside the U.S. are not required to hold a U.S. Rn License but instead must possess a current license from the country they reside in or in which they will complete clinical coursework hours.

Program of Study— Certificate

The RN, with an earned master’s degree in nursing, must complete all required cognate and forensic nursing courses. Upon successful completion, they will receive a Certificate in Forensic Nursing.

Program Learning Outcomes/Graduate Terminal Outcomes

  • Integrate knowledge from the sciences and the humanities into the provision of advanced nursing care to diverse populations.
  • Design systems change strategies that improve the care environment
  • Lead quality improvement initiatives that integrate socio-cultural factors affecting the delivery of nursing and healthcare services.
  • Integrate evidence-based strategies and interprofessional perspectives to improve practice and associated health outcomes.
  • Analyze current and emerging technologies to support safe practice environments, and to optimize patient safety, cost-effectiveness, and health outcomes.
  • Participate in the promotion of policies to improve public health and advance the nursing profession.
  • Employ collaborative strategies in the design, coordination, and evaluation of patient-centered care.
  • Synthesize broad ecological, global, and social determinants of health to design and deliver population health interventions and strategies.


* These courses have a clinical component for a total of 300 hours.

Health and Professional Requirements

Submission of Health and Professional Requirements documentation is required before beginning the first clinical course and must remain current throughout the remainder of the program. 

These include:

  1. Annual physical exam: Valid 1 year
  2. Two Step PPD/TB Test: two negative PPD/TB results more than two weeks apart but less than 365 days apart. Followed by an annual PPD/TB test.
  3. Tdap (Tetanus): Valid of 10 years.
  4. MMR: 2 Dates of Immunization OR Titer Date & Results.
  5. Varicella: 2 Dates of Immunization OR Titer Dates & Results.
  6. HepB Series: Series of 3 vaccines.
  7. HepB Surface Antibody Titer: a Positive HepB Titer documenting immunity (documentation of restarting the series is required if Titer result is Negative).
  8. Influenza: Annually by October 15.
  9. Current CPR Certification/recertification for Health Professionals (Required certification through the American Heart Association - BLS Provider)


RN Licensure

RN License must remain current and unencumbered throughout the program.


Personal Liability Insurance

Students must have professional malpractice coverage if enrolled in any clinical course. Currently, the University provides this personal liability coverage for all nursing students. If this University coverage should change, students will be responsible for purchasing their own professional liability insurance.


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