Forensic Nursing

Forensic Nurse Examiners
Over the past twenty years, forensic nurse examiner programs have emerged as the standard of care for providing medical forensic examinations to patients following an assault.  Forensic-trained nurses provide comprehensive, victim-centered medical care while also fulfilling the judicial system need to collect evidence and document assault findings. Forensic nurses serve as death investigators, correctional nurse specialists, psychiatric nurses, legal nurse consultants, geriatric specialists, nurse attorneys, clinical nurse specialists and gynecology nurses.

Becoming a Forensic Nurse
Thank you for your interest in joining the DCFNE team! A DCFNE Forensic Nurse provides timely, non-judgmental, compassionate medical forensic care to individuals who have experienced sexual assault, intimate partner violence, elder abuse, or other violent trauma. Forensic nurses work closely with victim/survivor advocates, law enforcement, criminal justice officials, and civil attorneys. Forensic nurses report to the Nursing Director and work in collaboration with the Clinical Leadership Team.


All Forensic Nurses must:

  • Be a Registered Nurse licensed in the District of Columbia
  • Have a minimum of 12 months of work experience in an emergency department or other critical care area
  • Complete 40 hours of didactic (classroom) training as specified by IAFN standards
  • Complete clinical rotations and training per DCFNE guidelines and IAFN standards
  • Have a valid Driver’s License or government issued ID
  • Be eligible to work in the United States
  • Be willing to complete SANE-A certification within 2 years and CITI training as needed
  • Be able to lift materials weighing up to 20 pounds
  • Be able to type 40 words per minute

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Maintain a schedule of on-call and/or on-site shifts, including overnight, weekend, and holiday shifts
  • Respond to MedStar Washington Hospital Center or any other DCFNE location within one (1) hour of being contacted for a patient exam
  • Perform medical forensic exams on victims of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, elder abuse and other abuse or violent trauma, including:
    • head-to-toe medical assessment for trauma
    • detailed genital/anal examination
    • forensic specimen collection and supportive documentation
    • photo documentation of bodily and genital-anal injuries with competent documentation
  • Administer prophylactic medications and emergency contraception
  • Assess for mandatory reporting status and report when appropriate
  • Maintain chain of custody and adhere to evidence guidelines
  • Ensure patient/medical record confidentiality at all times (HIPAA)
  • Maintain professional standards that do not create conflict of interests with employment or patient care
  • Testify as fact witness to any/all cases performed while employed with DCFNE, even after no longer employed with DCFNE
  • Attend monthly Peer Reviews and quarterly self-care activities
  • Perform Quality Improvement (QI) with evaluation on medical forensic charts, as directed by the Education Coordinator, with an on-site minimum of three (3) hours per quarter
  • Maintain expertise as a forensic nurse through continuing education, engagement with professional community, and review of current research and literature
  • Other duties as assigned by the Nursing Director or Executive Director, including participating in community awareness and education events

Training Options

DCFNE is not offering a SANE training class this year.  We will interview candidates as soon as they have completed a 40-hour Adolescent/Adults SANE training independently. Additional clinical training will be provided after candidates are hired by DCFNE.

Below are upcoming course options, and more regional courses are listed at

  • The International Association of Forensic Nurses offers an online Adolescent / Adult course.  Click here to register (flyer here).

As soon as you’ve completed a didactic course, we look forward to interviewing you. If you register for a course, please let us know at so that we can place you on the interview list.   

Feel free to contact us with any questions at