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At Cedar Crest College, we see you furthering your education to fill a critical need in nursing. Combining Cedar Crest College’s long history of excellence in both Forensic Science and Nursing, our Certificate in Forensic Nursing will prepare you to improve healthcare outcomes when caring for victims of crime, abuse, or disasters without inflicting additional trauma associated with improper examination, evidence collection and preservation. No matter where you work as a nurse, the skills learned in this program can be applied to better advocate for your patients.  For those taking the graduate certificate option, a portion of your clinical hours may apply to your CCC MSN degree.  

This program is delivered online and asynchronously (with an on-campus immersion experience). The 7-week accelerated format of the courses allows you to complete the certificate in as little as 9 months over the fall and spring semesters.  

Dive A Little Deeper

Forensic nursing can be defined as specialized care for patients experiencing acute and long-term health consequences associated with victimization or violence. Nurses educated in the principles of forensic science help victims of trauma, aid in the investigation of child abuse, elder abuse,
human trafficking, and domestic violence. In addition, forensic nurses often play a role in death
investigations for coroners and medical examiners. This certificate prepares RN s who work in
settings where there is no formal forensic nursing position to apply this enhanced skill set to a
multitude of areas-including inpatient, outpatient, community/ home health, schools and elder
care facilities, coroner’s offices, corrections, and in mass disasters/ trauma.

Admission criteria: Active, unencumbered RN license for BSN option

Courses required for the undergraduate Certificate in Forensic Nursing

NUR 357 Forensic Nursing 1
Forensic Nursing I_ Introduction to Forensic Nursing (3 credits) Fall I 7 weeks
This course will introduce the history, evolution, and theoretical framework of forensic nursing.
Students will learn the competencies and scope of practice for all ages- children, adolescent and adult/geriatric. The pathophysiology of accidental and non-accidental trauma will be covered. Roles of the forensic nurse will be explored along with multidisciplinary communication and
interaction. Emphasis on wellness, self-care and maintenance of appropriate boundaries will be discussed along with identification of implicit biases.

SWK 306 Victimology
Victimology (3 credits) Fall 2 7 weeks
This course will explore victimization of the child, adolescent, adult/ geriatric populations.
Human trafficking, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, dating aggression and abuse will be discussed. Emphasis on the relationship of abuse of vulnerable populations, including
LGBTQIA, BIPOC and more will be covered.

FSC 359 Legal Issues and Evidentiary Collection
Legal and Evidentiary Issues in Forensic Nursing (3 credits) Spring I 7 weeks
This course will cover evidence collection, preservation, and documentation by the forensic
nurse. Students will learn the proper techniques for collecting, photographing, sketching, note
taking and following the chain of custody of forensic evidence. Legal aspects include
documentation, framework of the legal system, process of the criminal trial, admissibility rules
and courtroom testimony.

NUR 358 Forensic Nursing II
Forensic Nursing II didactic 3 credits all students, plus clinical practicum 1 credit= 56
hours for the MSN option Spring II 7 weeks
Didactic coursework will cover violence and trauma of the living and deceased, epidemiology, and crisis/disaster response. The effects of climate and the environment on injuries/ death will be explored. The use of emerging technology and AI will be discussed. Principles of conflict
resolution will be incorporated.

For students enrolled in the MSN option, this course includes a focused practicum that allows the student to apply principles of forensic nursing in the clinical setting.

A mandatory 1-2 day On Campus Immersion is required in Spring II that will evaluate
competency with patient interaction and physical examination, evidence collection and
preservation, documentation, and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Blaney Hall Blooms in Spring

Upcoming Admissions Events

Aug 01
  • Thu
  • 6:00PM – 7:30PM
SAGE Information Session Learn More
Aug 05
  • Mon
  • 7:30PM – 8:30PM
Graduate Nursing Virtual Info Session Learn More
Aug 07
  • Wed
  • 5:00PM – 6:00PM
Master of Nutrition Online Information Session Learn More
Aug 17
  • Sat
  • 10:00AM – 3:30PM
Summer Open House Learn More
Aug 22
  • Thu
  • All Day
August Orientation Learn More

Cooperative Agreements

Cedar Crest College collaborates with several academic institutions to provide our students with innovative pathways that help them succeed in their chosen fields.

Cedar Crest Accounting Students in the Classroom

Facilities & Technology

During your on-campus immersion day in Spring II, you’ll have the opportunity to use our state-of-the-art Nursing Simulation Center and forensic science labs. You’ll also have access to the Journal of Forensic Nursing through the Cressman Library.  

Blaney Hall on the Cedar Crest College Campus at Sunset

How To Apply

Ready to apply as an undergraduate or graduate student?

Cedar Crest student smiling on campus


The master’s degree program in nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Cedar Crest College are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

The baccalaureate, master’s, post master’s certificate nursing programs at Cedar Crest College located in Allentown, PA are accredited by the: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). 3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400 Atlanta, GA 30326 (404) 975-5000

The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the baccalaureate, master’s and post master’s certificate nursing programs is continuing accreditation.

View the public information disclosed by the ACEN regarding this program on the ACEN website:

Faculty & Staff

Who’s teaching you is as important as the curriculum you choose.
Let’s put a face to some of the names you’ll be seeing on the course listings!