Online Post-Master's Certificates

Online Post-Master's Certificate in Forensic Nursing

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Become a forensic nurse leader.

Extend your positive impact on patients and hone expertise to help heal society’s deepest wounds. Earn your Post-Master’s Certificate in Forensic Nursing online and apply the law and forensic science to your nursing practice and collaborate with other professionals for the care of victims and prosecution of the perpetrators.

At Duquesne, your certificate connects you to expert forensic nurses and prepares you with formalized training to sit for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) certification exam. Our attention to your success is what sets us apart among forensic nursing certificate programs. It’s also a driving force behind Duquesne’s rise as a top-ranked nursing school.

Complete your
certificate online

Build forensic
nursing skills
in just 5 courses

3 start dates
per year

No GRE required

Tuition discounts
are available

Why Earn a Certificate in Forensic Nursing?

When you earn a forensic nursing certificate, you can develop distinct expertise that prepares you to become a critical, meaningful part of assessing and investigating abuse and providing trauma-informed care to the most vulnerable populations.

In as little as one year, you can learn to apply forensic science to serve patients in many ways, from designing more effective care plans to providing medical analysis that can add to legal defenses. Upon completion, graduates emerge with advanced practice skills to help influence court decisions, shift health care policy and lead patients with complex cases toward recovery.

The smart choice — an online certificate program.

  • Prepare to become a certified SANE nurse. Your certificate provides a prep course that includes a 40-hour SANE-A training necessary to sit for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner certification exam.
  • Complete your courses online. No campus visits are required, plus you have the opportunity to complete your precepted hours at a clinical location that’s close to home.
  • Connect with forensic nurse experts. Our faculty serve as your mentors, available by phone or email throughout your certificate program.
  • Access a flexible learning platform. Set your schedule to be flexible with your career, so you can study when it is convenient for you.
  • Join an esteemed institution. Duquesne ranks #45 in the nation for the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs (U.S. News & World Report).

What are common career paths for a forensic nurse?

  • Sexual assault nurse examiner
  • Nurse coroner
  • Forensic correctional nurse
  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Nurse investigator
  • Forensic psychiatric nurse
  • Legal nurse consultant
  • Forensic gerontology specialist

What’s the career outlook for forensic nurses?

  • More opportunities. As the demand for forensic nurses and sexual assault examiners grows, your certificate in forensic nursing can position you for a wider range of jobs in a growing market.
  • Higher demand. The Department of Justice offers grants in 49 states to stimulate the addition of proper training programs that can help investigators answer growing demand for forensic examiners. (United States Government Accountability Office)
  • Increased earnings. Advanced practice nurses can become eligible for higher earnings, especially when they pursue a specialty. The median salary of a nurse who is specialized in forensics is $81,800. The top 10% of forensic nurses reported earning around $140,000 a year. (

Why Choose Duquesne for Your Forensic Nursing Certificate?

Our online forensic nursing certificate was designed in partnership with the Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law and includes additional input from Duquesne forensic science faculty. Courses follow the Synergy Model for Patient Care, meeting standards set to steer your nursing competencies to match patient needs. It’s an effective combination that can prepare you to become a leader in this emerging nursing field.

As the first university in the nation to teach graduate nursing online, we’ve been teaching in the medium for nearly 20 years. Our faculty members are innovators in forensic nursing teaching and have worked to create one of the first forensic nursing programs.

Duquesne is also consistently recognized for academic excellence:

Best U.S. News Rankings

  • No. 13 among national Catholic universities
  • No. 45 in the nation for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs in 2018
  • Top 20 among the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs for Veterans
  • Ranked among “America’s Best Colleges”

NLN - National League for Nursing

  • Recognized for Outstanding Achievements in “Student Learning and Professional Development” by the NLN as a Center for Excellence in Nursing Education

The Princeton Review

  • Ranked among the “Best 380 Colleges” – which profiles only 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges


  • Named as one of “America’s Top colleges” and listed among “Best Value Colleges” and “Best Value Private Colleges”


  • Recognized as a Gold-Level Military Friendly School by Victory Media

What Can I Learn from Duquesne’s Online Forensic Nursing Certificate Curriculum?

Coursework for Duquesne’s online Post-Master’s Certificate in Forensic Nursing is designed to help you enhance your existing nursing knowledge to collaborate effectively with legal and scientific experts in a variety of settings.

Join us, and you can learn to:

Become a policy advocate

Learn to actively participate in policy discussions that affect your patients.

Lead in an emerging field

Apply legal and forensic science principles to your advanced practice nursing skills.

Base your decisions on research

Integrate clinical theory and evidence-based practice into the care you give your patients.

Collaborate with a range of experts

Increase quality of care and plans for patients by combining insights from other disciplines.

Care for diverse populations

Deepen your understanding of cultural competence and sensitivity that you offer to individuals and families.

Refine your clinical judgment

Strengthen specialized skills to improve your patient assessment and trauma-informed care.

We support nurses who seek SANE certification.

The online forensic nursing certificate meets the classroom and clinical requirements to sit for SANE certification. Our curriculum takes you from evidence collection and into courtrooms, helping you apply concepts in law and forensic science to advance your nursing practice. It works to help improve how you assess, diagnose and treat patients who have experienced traumatic events. This includes SANE-A training and hands-on experience gained during a clinical capstone in your desired setting.

Online Forensic Nursing Certificate Curriculum

The Post-Master’s Certificate in Forensic Nursing curriculum is a total of 15 credits — five 3-credit courses. You can earn your forensic nursing certificate in as little as 1 year.

GNFO 517 Forensic Science and the Legal System 3 Credits
GNFO 518 Criminal Law and the Courts 3 Credits
GNFO 519 Advanced Forensic Nursing I – Theory and Practice 3 Credits
GNFO 520 Advanced Forensic Nursing II – Program Development, Leadership & Policy 3 Credits
GNFO 521 Forensic Clinical and Capstone
150 clinical hours required
3 Credits

Note: Curriculum is subject to change.

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