Forensic Nursing Expert Witnesses

In Forensic Psychiatric Nursing — A Legal Affair: An Expert Interview With Angela Frederick Amar, PhD, RN, and Paul Thomas Clements, PhD, APRN-BC, CGS, DF-IAFN Medscape asks: What is forensic nursing?

Drs. Amar and Clements: Forensic nursing is nursing care with a legal component. Often times, this can mean that a crime has been committed and the client is involved with the criminal justice system as a victim, offender, or an involved family or significant other. Common practice situations include sexual assault, intimate partner violence, child maltreatment, death investigation, correctional nursing, forensic psychiatric nursing, legal nurse consultant, and forensic psychiatric liaison nursing.

Medscape: What is the state of the science for this specialty practice?

Drs. Amar and Clements: Forensic nursing, recognized as a specialty by the American Nurses Association in 1995, is a newer specialty and in the early stages of nursing science development. Beginning with the pioneering research of Dr. Ann Burgess, much of the forensic nursing research initially explored sexual assault, responses to sexual assault, and the role and efficacy of the sexual assault nurse examiner. The contemporary era of forensic nursing research has expanded to the pervasive public health issues of intimate partner violence, child maltreatment, and elder abuse. As the practice of forensic nursing continues to expand, so does the research.

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