Introduction to Forensic Nursing: Principles and Practice

Introduction to Forensic Nursing: Principles and Practice provides an extensive overview of the field of forensic nursing, exploring the many roles forensic nurses occupy and the populations they serve.

Available Options:

Introduction to Forensic Nursing
Principles and Practice 

Forensic Learning Series

Introduction to Forensic Nursing: Principles and Practice is an extensive reference that aims to provide both current and potential forensic nurses with a fundamental understanding of the opportunities that the field offers. With over 40 chapters in total, this book explores the various duties that forensic nurses may be responsible for in hospitals, in partnership with law enforcement and the military, and in different community settings.

Featured throughout the text are dozens of descriptive case studies that showcase the forensic nurse’s role within these various settings and the populations they serve. Readers will have the opportunity to assess their understanding of forensic nursing and its varied applications by using the accompanying practice assessment included in the back of the book. Those seeking continued education credits may take a final examination through the Academy of Forensic Nursing’s AFN Learn program.

Features and Benefits:
— Expert information on forensic nursing roles
— 70+ descriptive case studies
— Written for nurses of any experience level or discipline

Product Details:

Perfect Bound 11 x 8.5 inches
292 pages, 31 images


Generalist nurses, nursing schools, nursing students, forensic nurses, nurse educators.

Publication date:

September 2022.


978-1-953119-07-0 (Print)
978-1-953119-08-7 (eBook)

Table of Contents

Section I: Definitions

Section II: Overview
1. History of the Roles in Forensic Nursing in the US
2. Foundations of Forensic Nursing
3. Impact of Trauma on Health
4. Provider Fatigue and Burnout
5. Trauma-Informed Care
6. Future of Forensic Nursing in Practices

Section III: Borrowed Science
7. Criminology/Victimology
8. Integument
9. Gunshot Wounds
10. Psychology of Trauma
11. Forensic Science and Evidence
12. Legal
13. Providing Testimony
14. Forensic Documentation and Photography
15. Telehealth and the Forensic Nurse

Section IV: Violence Across the Lifespan
16. Violence Against Children
17. Violence Against Adolescents & Adults
18. Violence Against Elders
19. When Death is the Outcome

Section V: Special Populations
20. Family Violence
21. Minority Populations
22. Indigenous Populations
23. Gender Violence (LGBTQIA+)
24. Persons with Disabilities
25. Male Sexual Assault
26. Suspects
27. Human Trafficking
28. Gang Violence
29. Prison Violence
30. Mass Disasters

Section VI: Special Crimes
31. Technology and Risk
32. Offensive Behaviors: Bullying and Sexual Harassment
33. Stalking
34. Alcohol-Enabled and Drug-Facilitated Crimes
35. Sexual Violence
36. Strangulation
37. Traumatic Brain Injury
38. Military Sexual Assault and Violence
39. Military Service and Forensic Nursing Response to Violence
40. Campus Sexual Assault
41. Workplace Violence
42. SWAT Nursing

Section VII: Assessment

Section VIII: Answer Key


Diana Faugno, a Minnesota native, graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1973 with a degree in nursing and obtained an MSN in 2006. Her professional experience includes nursing in the Medical/Surgical, Labor and Delivery, Pediatrics, and Neonatal Intensive Care departments. Ms. Faugno obtained her certification in pediatric nursing in 1990, began a career as a sexual assault nurse examiner in 1991, and became a certified sexual assault nurse examiner in 2002. She is the former director of Forensic Health Services, which includes a child abuse program, sexual assault team, and a family violence program in North San Diego County. Currently, Ms. Faugno is a board director for End Violence Against Women International. She has made several presentations to the scientific community and has led workshops on sexual assault presented at the American Academy of Science.

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Stacey A. Mitchell, DNP, MBA, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, FAAN

Stacey Mitchell is a clinical associate professor at Texas A&M University College of Nursing. Formerly, she served as the Administrative Director for Risk Management and Patient Safety and Forensic Nursing Services at Harris Health System in Houston, Texas. Dr. Mitchell is a member of the American Nurses Association, the American Society of Healthcare Risk Managers, and the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society in Nursing. In 2017, Dr. Mitchell was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. She is also a member and former president of the International Association of Forensic Nurses. Dr. Mitchell is a frequent invited speaker at both domestic and international nursing conferences and training seminars, and she is regularly called upon to provide expert testimony regarding forensic nursing, sexual assault, child abuse, child sexual abuse, and trauma.

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Valerie Sievers, MSN, RN, CNS, SANE-A, SANE-P, DF-AFN

Val Sievers is a Forensic Clinical Nurse Specialist with more than 35 years of health care experience as a registered nurse, advanced practice nurse, educator and consultant with extensive practice experience in the arenas of emergency and critical care nursing, academic education and forensic clinical practice.
As a Clinical Nurse Specialist, Val provides advanced education regarding the care and treatment of patients affected by violence and abuse. She is currently dual board certified as an adult-adolescent and pediatric sexual assault nurse examiner, owner of MedLaw Consultants, LLC; a forensic healthcare consulting practice and is a board member of the Academy of Forensic Nursing.

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Sarah L. Pederson, BSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P

Sarah Pederson earned her BSN and RN in 2008 and accumulated 7 years of clinical experience as a labor and delivery nurse in Atlanta, GA. She is currently pursuing a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree from Georgia State University.

Sarah Pederson obtained her SANE-A and SANE-P and combined this with her experience as a women’s health nurse to provide and coordinate SANE exams for a regional nonprofit. Ms. Pederson is currently serving as the Georgia Statewide SANE coordinator, responsible for SANE program development and advancing SANE capabilities across the state. She has served on the expert committee for the Georgia Statewide Sexual Assault Response Team. She is frequently sought out to provide expert witness testimony in criminal cases involving sexual assault, strangulation, and the neurobiology of trauma.

Sarah Pederson was the recipient of the 2019 Pat Head Dignity Award. The Pat Head Dignity award is given each year to someone in law enforcement, victim services, the community, or who is a legislator that exemplifies the standard of “Doing the Right Thing” when it comes to serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

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Jessica Volz is the Clinical Director of Forensics at Shady Grove Medical Center in Rockville, Maryland. She holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice, Bachelor of Science Degrees in both Nursing and Behavioral Science and is a Nightingale Award winner. She is a family nurse practitioner with a background in critical care and emergency and forensic nursing. She has worked with patients across the lifespan for more than 10 years.  
Dr. Volz currently serves as the chair of the Domestic Violence Special Interest Group for the Academy of Forensic Nursing. She is passionate about growing the forensic nursing discipline and ensuring medical forensic services are more readily available.

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Patricia Speck is an internationally recognized family nurse practitioner who specializes in public health and forensic nursing. She graduated from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Nursing and later completed her doctoral dissertation on sexual assault program evaluation. As a board certified family nurse practitioner, Patricia’s clinical practice focuses on the health aftermath of violence and her research centers on forensic nursing practice topics. She is a consultant, author, and lecturer on forensic nursing and has earned more than 20 local, national, and international awards and professional honors for her work. Patricia chairs the American Public Health Association’s Family Violence Forum and is a former president of the International Association of Forensic Nurses.

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Introduction to Forensic Nursing: Principles and Practice is an excellent resource for professionals that work at the intersection between the criminal justice system, forensic evidence collection, and medical care. Each chapter includes key points and case studies that enable the reader to easily digest the information and apply the lessons to their day to day work. Those who seek to understand the vital role that forensic nurses play in criminal investigations and the search for the truth should read this book.

Debbie Feinstein
Chief, Special Victims Division
State’s Attorney’s Office
Montgomery County, Maryland

Forensic nursing is a specialized field that not only requires general nursing knowledge and skills but also knowledge of the inner workings of the vast criminal system. The textbook, Introduction to Forensic Nursing: Principles and Practice dives into the nuances necessary for nursing consideration when caring for assault victims.  From the patient interview and evidence collection to the victim aftercare and legal proceedings, Introduction to Forensic Nursing: Principles and Practice succinctly details the current practices forensic nurses can incorporate to ensure victims of assault are cared for in a patient-centered environment and evidence is secured to strengthen the prosecution of the alleged perpetrator. Current and future forensic nurses will benefit greatly from the use of this textbook.

Jennifer D. Bankston, DNP, MSN, BSN, WHNP-BC
Nursing Instructor
Hillsborough Community College
Tampa, Florida
Adjunct Lecturer
Regis College
Department of Nursing
Weston, Massachusetts

Introduction to Forensic Nursing: Principles and Practice is a comprehensive textbook for those interested in the dynamic field of forensic nursing. This longawaited textbook includes descriptions of the many roles of the forensic nurse along with tools and information for successful practice. The organization of the textbook allows easy access to the content, including an overview and historical perspective of forensic nursing, as well as sections
with specific content related to borrowed science, violence across the lifespan, special populations, and special crimes. The chapters detail the role of forensic nursing in various fields, and many include case studies with enlightening discussion on how the concepts of forensic nursing would be applied to the scenario. The concept of trauma-informed care is pervasive and emphasized throughout the text. Applying the principles of trauma-informed care reaches far beyond the forensic nurse practice and is a skill that can be utilized by all nurses. Introduction to Forensic Nursing: Principles and Practice fills a void for a complete evidence-based practice resource about forensic nursing all in one place. This scholarly resource will be an asset for nursing curriculums.

Vicki J. Vawter DNP, APRN, WHNPBC
Professor of Nursing
Health Science Division Chair
Hillsborough Community College

The authors of Introduction to Forensic Nursing: Principles and Practice have built a robust foundation of knowledge on forensic nursing, equally palatable to those already in the medical field as well as prospective practitioners. One aspect of forensic nursing that makes it so special is the sheer number of disciplines routinely engaged in the work. From biology to psychology to law and beyond, Introduction to Forensic Nursing gives each
one its due. With this book, the authors successfully lay the groundwork for a future with knowledgeable, well-rounded, trauma-informed forensic nurses leading the charge to serve the medical needs of victims of abuse and violence in tandem with the justice system.

Thomas Manion
Director, Family Justice Center
Montgomery County Office of the Sheriff
Rockville, MD 20852

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