New opportunities in a growing field: ACFEI's forensic nursing program.
Subject: Trade and professional associations (Services)
Forensic nursing (Study and teaching)
Educational programs
Author: Galloway, Dana
Pub Date: 09/22/2009
Publication: Name: The Forensic Examiner Publisher: American College of Forensic Examiners Audience: Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Law; Science and technology Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 American College of Forensic Examiners ISSN: 1084-5569
Issue: Date: Fall, 2009 Source Volume: 18 Source Issue: 3
Topic: Event Code: 360 Services information
Product: Product Code: 8620000 Professional Membership Assns NAICS Code: 81392 Professional Organizations SIC Code: 8621 Professional organizations
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 205905775
Full Text: The term "forensic nursing" was first used in the early 1990s and originally focused on sexual assault nurses. Since then, the terra has taken a broader meaning and now refers to nurses with specialized training that includes forensic evidence collection, criminal procedures, legal testimony expertise and medicolegal death investigations, and providing care for victims of violence. Forensic nursing is an exciting and rapidly growing specialty field that offers great opportunities and rewarding career options for nursing professionals. However, it can be challenging to set yourself apart from your peers to get the recognition and respect you deserve, both in the medical community and the legal arena. Though this highly specialized designation of nursing is an emerging specialty not yet mainstream in most hospitals, this only increases the vitality of a quality forensic nursing program. ACFEI's Certified Forensic Nurse, CFN[R] program was established in 2004, and the program has now expanded to include a new Introduction to Forensic Nursing course. This new course will count toward one of the prerequisites for the certification and helps ACFEI continue to provide the highest quality training for the forensic nursing profession.

The Certified Forensic Nurse, CFN[R] program provides the resources necessary for nurses to care for the health and legal needs of vulnerable populations and victims of violence. The Introduction to Forensic Nursing course covers a variety of specialty areas. The course addresses the history and processes of forensic nursing, specifically looking at violence and victimology; injury identification, interpretation, and documentation; criminalistics, evidence, and forensic science; and nursing and the legal interface. The certification exam further provides nurses with the knowledge and training necessary for this growing and competitive field of nursing. Earning the CFN designation demonstrates to a nursing professional's colleagues, patients, clients, employers, and the health care community that he or she has an extensive base of knowledge and education, direct professional experience, and a commitment to continuing education and excellence within the forensic nursing profession. The CFN designation can also help contribute to the weight and relevance of the Certified Forensic Nurse's testimony and the applicability of the evidence that the nurse presents in a court of law.

"It was my distinct pleasure to have taken part in the Introduction to Forensic Nursing Course. Working my way through it, I found that I needed to call upon my many years of nursing study and practice, as well as my Master's studies in criminology to tie in these two important areas toward forensic nursing. The course itself was well organized into pertinent topics that made the study very clear and easy to follow and understand. In these times when factual evidence is so crucial to the lives of the people that we serve, this course is a well-spring of knowledge and resource. Not only do I now feel confident in the course matter, but I have ready references to details that I may be called upon to use at some time in the future. I now look forward to becoming a Certified Forensic Nurse. Thank you for making this possible."

--Dana Galloway, MS, RN, CDP-I
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