Rovers recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season after a sensational second half comeback at the City Ground.
Goals from Alex Baptiste, Rudy Gestede and Jordan Rhodes saw Rovers come from behind to claim their third away win of the campaign.
It was the home side who edged the first half, Matty Fryatt's rebounded goal after Britt Assombalonga had struck the post, the difference between the two sides.
However it was in the second where Rovers took control. Alex Baptiste smashing home his first for the club after Karl Darlow failed to deal with a Ben Marshall cross.
Forest were the width of a post away from regaining the lead when Henri Lansbury struck the woodwork, but after that there was only ever going to be one winner.
On 75 Lee Williamson raced away down the right to send over the perfect cross for Rudy Gestede to head home his 6th of the campaign, before Jordan Rhodes got in on the act as he pounced on a Mancienne error.
Rovers could have had more in the closing stages as Gestede and Cairney went close, but three goals were enough to send the travelling support home happy.
Rovers made two changes from the side that defeated Birmingham City on Tuesday night.
Grant Hanley returned to captain the side with Adam Henley the defender to make way, whilst Ryan Tunnicliffe got the nod ahead of Rudy Gestede dropping to the bench.
Forest also made two changes from their midweek draw with Watford. Jack Hunt and Matty Fryatt coming into the starting eleven with Lichaj and Osborn making way.
Corners were exchanged in the early stages, the home side saw a David Vaughan centre just evade Matty Fryatt, whilst a Ben Marshall cross came out to Ryan Tunnicliffe but his effort skipped along the turf and wide.
Jack Hunt got the better of Marshall down the right but his low centre was claimed by Jason Steele, before the Rovers man then showed the Forest defender a clean pair of heels to cut in and left fly, however his shot deflected just wide.
Rovers were restricting the hosts to little in advanced positions, working tirelessly to close down space. But when the opportunity broke for Forest there was usually a visiting body in the way, Tunnicliffe blocking well to thwart Dan Harding after Corry Evans had headed away a David Vaughan free-kick.
But eight minutes before half-time the home side broke the deadlock. Forest striker Britt Assombalonga bursting forward to let fly with an audacious shot off the outside of his right boot. The ball beat Steele but rebounded off the post and then off the advancing Matty Fryatt and into the net.
There was a touch of fortune about the goal as it seemed the Forest frontman knew little of his goal as the ball struck him. Fryatt also appeared to be in an offside position, but the goal was allowed to stand.
Evans saw a shot deflect narrowly wide as Rovers looked for an immediate response, but it was Forest carrying more of a threat, Assombalonga twice going close with efforts before the break.
For 36 minutes Rovers were well in the game, but after their fortunate opener, it was the home side who ended the first half strongly.
Rovers edged proceedings at the start of the second half and on the hour they should have been celebrating an equaliser.
A long throw from the left by Marshall saw Shane Duffy flick on for Jordan Rhodes, his toe-poke goalwards was cleared back against the striker but it deflected over the bar.
That prompted both sides to make a change, Forest bringing on Henri Lansbury for the goalscorer Fryatt, whilst Corry Evans, who was booked in the first half, was replaced by Rudy Gestede.
Rovers maintained their pressure in advanced positions and got their reward on 66 minutes.
Ben Marshall showed fancy footwork on the left before lifting the ball into the area, Forest keeper Karl Darlow couldn't claim and the ball fell invitingly for defender Alex Baptiste and he emphatically thumped the ball home.
From the restart Forest almost regained the lead, Jack Hunt racing away from Marshall down the right to cut the ball back to substitute Lansbury but Steele saved well with his legs.
However Rovers couldn't clear and as Forest picked up the ball once more, Lansbury striking the foot of the post with a curling shot, Steele's fingertips ensuring the ball wouldn't find the back of the net.
That was only brief respite for the home defence as Rovers poured forward, Lee Williamson seeing a shot tipped over the bar by Darlow.
But two minutes later Rovers had their second goal to complete the turnaround. Good work through midfield by Cairney saw Williamson sent away down the right and he delivered a peach of a cross for Rudy Gestede to power into the back of the net for his sixth of the campaign.
Then on 77 minutes Rovers put breathing space between them and their opponents. Gestede turning provider with a thumped clearance that saw Forest captain Michael Mancienne struggle to get the high ball under control. Rhodes stole in and needed no second invitation to find the back of the net with a low left-footed strike into the opposite corner to send the visiting fans into raptures.
Rovers could, and perhaps should, have scored more goals as they saw out the remaining minutes in style.
Rudy Gestede powered a header from a Craig Conway cross narrowly wide, before the Benin international found the side-netting with a blistering shot.
As time ticked into four additional minutes the home side had Karl Darlow to thank for keeping it to three. Breaking forward with numbers Tom Cairney saw his curling shot tipped just past the post.
It had been an impressive performance from Rovers, as aside from a spell after Forest had scored, they were rarely under any extended pressure. The home side blown away by a scintillating second half of attacking football.
FOREST: Darlow, Harding, Mancienne (c), Wilson, Fryatt (sub Lansbury 62 mins), Assombalonga, Hunt, Antonio, Vaughan, Burke, Tesche (sub Paterson 80 mins).
Subs not used: de Vries (GK), Lichaj, Fox, Lascelles, Blackstock.
Goals: Fryatt 37 mins.
ROVERS: Steele, Baptiste, Hanley (c), Duffy, Olsson, Williamson, Evans (sub Gestede 63 mins), Tunnicliffe, Cairney, Marshall (sub Conway 78 mins), Rhodes (sub Varney 88 mins).
Subs not used: Eastwood (GK), Henley, Kilgallon, Dunn.
Goals: Baptiste 66 mins, Gestede 75 mins, Rhodes 77 mins.
Booked: Evans, Williamson.
Attendance: 27,345 (1,043 visiting fans)