Luke Chambers fired home the winner two minutes after the break to send Forest to within a point of the automatic promotion places with their fourth straight victory.
Burnley beat Portsmouth 2-1 at Fratton Park, with all three goals coming in the space of seven first-half minutes.J
ay Rodriguez put the visitors in front in the 31st minute only for John Utaka to drill Pompey level two minutes later.
Dean Marney restored Burnley's advantage in the 37th minute with a superb overhead-kick and the hosts could not find another reply.
Danny Haynes scored his first goals for Barnsley with a brace in their 2-0 win at Doncaster Rovers.
The forward, signed last week from Bristol City, headed home the opener in the 54th minute and sealed the victory with a 67th-minute finish.