Graduate Programs

Forensic Nursing - Masters of Science in Nursing

The MSN in Forensic Nursing program track combines the art and science of nursing, the law, and forensic science, preparing Registered Nurses to provide care to forensic patients in criminal and civil legal matters. Coursework focuses on the legal system, collection and preservation of evidence, providing testimony, and care of victims and perpetrators of crimes. Forensic Nurses find employment in settings such as hospitals (risk management, emergency, ICU), nursing homes, detention centers, legal offices, shelters, coroner’s offices, universities, insurance companies, or as private consultants. The program starts every Fall semester.

Students who complete the MSN in Forensic Nursing have completed the educational requirements needed to take the SANE Certification exam.

Admission Requirements

Students applying to the program must hold a valid, active license as an RN in the United States, a baccalaureate degree in Nursing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and have completed an undergraduate or graduate-level statistics course within ten years of the application deadline.

Application Instructions

  • Apply to the College of Graduate Studies
  • Submit official transcripts for all post-secondary education
  • Submit a completed School of Nursing Graduate Nursing Application; the application deadline is March 1 for the Fall semester

All application materials must be submitted to

Office of Graduate Admissions
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214

Curriculum Changes

The Graduate Faculty recently completed an update of the curriculum requirements for the Forensic Nursing track of the MSN program. These requirements are in effect for students starting the program in Fall 2012.

One of the most significant changes is the creation of thesis and non-thesis options for the track. Students who are planning to pursue a PhD will want to seriously consider the thesis option as a means of both preparing them for further graduate course work and strengthening their doctoral program applications.

Essentially, the difference between the two options is this:

  • Thesis option students will complete two clinical courses, two research courses, and a thesis.
  • Students who pursue the non-thesis option will complete three clinical courses and one research course.

You do not need to make this decision until you have completed NUR 503. However, you will want to think about and discuss it with your graduate faculty advisor.

MSN Forensic Nursing Courses 

MSN Forensic Nursing Degree Planner Thesis Track

MSN Forensic Nursing Degree Planner Non-Thesis Track

International Association of Forensic Nurses

Dr. Vida Lock discusses Forensic Nursing on