Billy Davies looks ever more likely to become the first manager since Harry Bassett to steer the club into the top-flight, as they powered to a victory that extended their unbeaten run to 19 matches.
Forest produced an outstanding first-half display to all but kill off the game, as they swept into a 3-0 lead after only 32 minutes.
It was the strike duo of Dexter Blackstock - against his former club - and Robert Earnshaw who did the damage, as the home side produced a display that only enhanced their promotion credentials.
It was Earnshaw who netted the first on 18 minutes, bending an inch-perfect free-kick over the wall and down into the bottom corner of the net after Blackstock had been fouled on the edge of the box.
The second came less than three minutes later as Paul Anderson broke quickly into the Rangers half on the counter-attack, before sending Earnshaw rampaging into the box from the right, from where he dispatched an unstoppable finish across goal and inside the far post.
A spectacular volley from Raddy Majewski almost made it 3-0 moments later, if not for a desperate, stretching save from Carl Ikeme, who held the ball at the second attempt.
But the third goal was not long in coming, as Earnshaw, skipping across the face of goal in an attempt to line-up a shot, lured a clumsy challenge from Kaspars Gorkss.
The Wales international may have wanted to take the spot-kick himself but, given that he had missed his last two penalties, it was Blackstock who instead snatched the ball - and delivered an emphatic, driven finish high to the keeper's right.
Rangers brought on Peter Ramage and Hogan Ephraim at half-time in an effort to claw their way back into the match - but found themselves 4-0 down just four minutes after the restart.
The visitors' defence was guilty of backing off and inviting Chris Cohen to shoot - and he obliged by firing an unstoppable shot into the net from 22 yards.
Jay Simpson's rising shot was the closest Rangers came to a goal, with former Hoops keeper Lee Camp producing a smart save.
But both Anderson and Earnshaw came close to adding a fifth for the rampant home side, before James Perch did find the net, sweeping home at the far post in the 78th minute after Cohen had seen another effort cleared off the line.
One more goal would have been enough to take Forest to the top of the table. Instead, they must now wait to discover the result of Wednesday's game between Newcastle and Palace, before they travel to face their fierce rivals Derby County this weekend.