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.

Program handbook
Program plan
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
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 and 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.

Graduates receive comprehensive forensic nursing education that allows them to practice in a variety of forensic nursing areas such as sexual assault, interpersonal violence, child/elder maltreatment, death investigation, and emergency preparedness and disaster management.

Depending upon clinical experiences, graduates may meet the requirements for forensic nursing certification.

"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

Available tracks include: 
  • MSN - Forensic Nursing (39 credits)
  • Graduate Certificate in Forensic Nursing (18 credits)
An evening with Virginia Lynch
Virginia A. Lynch,

Virginia Lynch is the founder of forensic nursing as a science. She not only assisted with the development of the curriculum in the new Forensic Nursing (FN) program at Oakland University, she traveled to Michigan to share a classroom lecture with FN students and gave a presentation to OU students.

Her talk included a collection of her case studies, plus the history and future direction of forensic nursing. Highlights of the class lecture show the tremendous career she's had and the impact she has made not only in the field, but to domestic violence and sexual assault victims everywhere.

"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."

How to Apply
Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Graduate Admissions by the posted deadlines.

See the graduate catalog listing for general university requirements and  program-specific admissions requirements. Follow the steps on the  Graduate Admissions website to apply for admission.
MSN advising
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.

Sessions begin promptly at the published start time and last approximately one hour. Program Advising Sessions are conducted in group format and are facilitated by the School of Nursing academic adviser for the program. At this session, you will learn about the Oakland University admission criteria and process, School of Nursing admission criteria and process, and program overview of the curriculum. Individual questions will be answered at the end of the session if time remains. Transcripts can only be evaluated after a student has been officially admitted to Oakland University so transcripts will not be evaluated at these sessions.

Please read over the information on the website prior to attending.

Directions: Enter OU off Walton Drive at West Oakland Drive. Use Parking Lot #3. For a copy of the Oakland University campus map, please visit
Forensic Nurse

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.