School of Nursing

Human Health Building, Room 3027
433 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4452
(location map)
(248) 370-4253
M-F 8 a.m.-5 p.m. closed daily 12 p.m.-1 p.m.

Adviser Contact
Emily Stepanian-Bennett
(248) 364-8782
Forensic Nursing Track Director
Kelly Berishaj
(248) 364-8750 
Director of Graduate Programs 
Meghan Harris
(248) 364-8762

Forensic Nursing

Forensic Nursing

Forensic Nursing

Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a forensic nurse was like? Watch this video featuring Kathleen Walker, forensic nurse at Turning Point in Mount Clemens. Her story will give you an idea of what is involved in forensic nursing.

The Forensic Nursing Program prepares graduates for professional practice in the role of the forensic nurse through the application of knowledge and principles foundational to nursing and forensic science.
  • Curriculum emphasizes interprofessional education related to the diverse roles and responsibilities of the forensic nurse as an independent practitioner.
  • Students learn how to act as a collaborator within the multidisciplinary forensic team while providing specialized care and services to individuals, families, communities, populations and systems that have experienced violence or trauma.
  • Graduates are prepared to serve as leaders in forensic nursing, paving the way for the advancement of the specialty.
Available tracks include:
  • MSN- Forensic Nursing (39 credits)
  • Graduate Certificate in Forensic Nursing (18 credits)

"The Oakland University School of Nursing is poised to make a vital contribution to quality forensic nursing education worldwide. Graduates of your Forensic Nursing program will be uniquely qualified to serve in a variety of forensic nursing roles in both public and private agencies and will be prepared to enhance the current level of forensic nursing practice. The demand for services of nurses with forensic expertise is great as we confront clinical issues related to global human violence. Oakland University School of Nursing will be distinguished as the forensic nursing pace-setter for decades to come."
-Virginia A. Lynch, MSN, RN, FAAFS, FAAN, Founder of Forensic Nursing

"Oakland University's Forensic Nursing program is the only program of its kind in the world. I am extremely impressed with the program's comprehensive education in forensic nursing and for providing the students with a strong foundation in both forensic and nursing science. The forensic nursing program at Oakland University prepares its graduates to address the healthcare and forensic needs of our vulnerable populations."
-Dr. Bill Smock, MD, Police Surgeon, Louisville Metro Police Department

The baccalaureate degree in nursing/master's degree in nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice at Oakland University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

Why Choose

With the changing landscape of graduate nursing education and the evolving needs in healthcare today, the Forensic Nursing Program at Oakland University allows students the opportunity to complete a clinically-focused master’s degree that meets the needs of vulnerable populations in all levels and settings of healthcare. As Advanced Practice Nursing (APRN) roles move to the doctoral level for entry into practice, there will be a gap in clinically-based master’s degree programs. The MSN-FN prepares students in advanced nursing practice as they complete 420 clinical hours as part of the program. Further, students are educated and trained to care for patients who are victims of intentional and unintentional trauma as well as all forms of abuse and maltreatment. They have the ability to conduct medical-forensic exams, provide specialized exam techniques, collect evidence, and testify in a court of law- all which lead to optimum patient health and legal outcomes.

The Forensic Nursing Program prepares graduates to practice globally as a forensic nurse with the ability to sub-specialize in a specific area of forensic nursing, if desired. Graduates may practice in a variety of forensic nursing areas such as:
  • Sexual Violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Child/elder maltreatment
  • Death investigation
  • Emergency Preparedness and disaster management
  • Trauma
Program Highlights:
  • First and only forensic nursing degree program in the state of Michigan and one of only a handful in the nation
  • Hybrid courses allowing for face-to-face and on-line instruction in a supportive environment
  • Students have the ability to work full-time during the program, contributing to work-life balance
  • Key community partnerships contribute to unique and innovative clinical placements and future job opportunities
How to
To be considered for graduate admissions, applicants must have fully completed and submitted a graduate application through NursingCAS and must have all applicable supporting documents uploaded into the NursingCAS application by the published deadlines below. All supporting documents are either completed through or uploaded to NursingCAS. For the Master of Nursing in Forensic Nursing, supporting documents include:

1.       All post-secondary official transcripts and an undergraduate transcripts showing completion of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with an overall undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher from an institution accredited by the National League for Nursing or the Commission on College Nursing Education.

2.       Proof of a current unrestricted Registered Nurse License in the United States or its territories.

3.       A Curriculum Vitae or resume demonstrating a minimum of one year of clinical experience as an R.N. (by the start of the program), during which time the applicant must have functioned as an independent decision maker and demonstrated advanced psychomotor skills.

4.       A written professional statement of 500 to 1,000 words.

5.       Two recommendations completed through NursingCAS by healthcare professionals in forensic nursing, leadership, administration/management, or education who are able to attest to the applicant’s nursing skills and/or abilities. One reference must come from a colleague who is familiar with the applicant’s work.

To start the NursingCAS application for the Master of Nursing in Forensic Nursing or for more information on setting up a NursingCAS account, students may visit

Forensic Nursing applications are admitted for the fall semester only
  • February 15 (early)
  • April 15 (regular)
  • July 15 (late)

If you are interested in learning more about admission criteria, the application process, course requirements and important dates, please attend one of our Program Advising Sessions (click for calendar). These sessions are offered monthly for each program track. The information provided at these sessions is useful for those students who want to learn more about the academic programs offered by the School of Nursing before applying to Oakland University.

FN Faculty
The mission of Oakland University School of Nursing is to prepare transformational leaders committed to caring and using the best evidence in nursing practice, education and research to optimize the health of the public in a diverse ever-changing global society. We invite you to learn more about the faculty who will be teaching forensic nursing students in the Winter 2018 semester.

Forensic Nursing Specialty Courses
Headshot of Kelly Berishaj

Kelly Berishaj, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, SANE-A
Special Instructor
Forensic Nursing Director

Margaret Glembocki, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, CSCMargaret Glembocki, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, CSC, SANE-A, FAANP
Assistant Professor
Headshot of Kim Holka in a red shirtKimberly Holka, DNP, MSN, MSA, RN, APHN-BC, CNE
Adjunct Instructor and RN-BSN Program Coordinator
Foundational Courses
Suha AL-OBalli Kridli, PhD, RNSuha AL-OBalli Kridli, PhD, RN 
Associate Professor
Headshot of Carrie Abele

Carrie Lynn Buch, PhD, RN
Associate Professor

Clinical Core
Professional headshot for Renee MirovskyRenee Mirovsky, DNP, MSN, RN, ANP-BC
Full Time Adjunct Instructor
Full Time Adjunct Instructor
Forensic Nursing Continuing Education
Stephanie Vallie, MSN, RNStephanie Vallie, MSN, RN 
Special Instructor
Clinical Partners
  • Community-based Forensic Nurse Examiner Agencies
  • Domestic Violence Shelters
  • Area Hospitals - ED/Trauma Programs
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Human Trafficking Organizations
  • Prosecutors' Offices
  • Crime Lab
  • Agencies for at Risk Youth
  • Elder Legal Services
  • Medical Examiner Offices
  • Organ and Tissue Donation Agencies
  • Suicide Prevention Organizations
  • Local and Federal Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Response Agencies
  • Public Health Organizations
FN Student
Forensic Nursing students have the opportunity to enhance professional advanced nursing practice through the development of a graduate project and dissemination of scholarly findings. See some past topics below:
  • The Importance of Accurate Wound Identification and Documentation Among Trauma Patients
  • Neurobiology of Trauma and Mindfulness for Children
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Recognizing Sings and Symptoms of Trauma in Children