Tuesday, May 21st, 2019 1:00:00 PM ET – 2:30:00 PM ET
Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Over the past three decades, Forensic Nursing has emerged as a health care discipline to inform communities of interest and to continually improve the quality of care for society’s most vulnerable populations. Forensic nurses integrate compassionate care into their practices, medical expertise, and science to provide a “voice” to their patients—bringing safety, medical treatment, and justice to those who have experienced trauma. Compassionate care is especially meaningful when fear, age, or stress robs vulnerable individuals of the ability to speak for themselves.

Through the past 30 years, our medical landscape has drastically shifted, with Virginia A. Lynch leading the way for forensic nursing. Ms. Lynch had always conceptualized nurses as the torchbearers for improved medical forensic practice, thus she took forensic nursing to the far corners of the globe. As a pioneer throughout her nursing career, Ms. Lynch established the first rape clinic in Parker County Texas during the 1980s, and then in Georgia she served as a county medicolegal death examiner. In 1990, Ms. Lynch went on to complete her thesis at the University of Texas at Arlington, and published her seminal work entitled, Clinical Forensic Nursing: A Descriptive Study in Role Development. [1] Then in 1991, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) asked Ms. Lynch to define the practice of forensic nursing and to establish a place for forensic specialists within the organization. Thus, began her journey to develop this new nursing profession, while continuing her research and ever-evolving advocacy.

This webinar will establish a foundation for the forensic nursing practice starting with ancient records, moving through the Middle Ages, and into today, identifying the leaders and their contributions. Building upon that foundation, we will see how the forensic nursing movement developed scopes and standards of practice, entry qualifications, accredited educational curricula and certifications, capable of addressing the needs of all patients intersecting with legal systems. Today, Forensic Nurses influence standards of practice on a global scale through consensus documents, research, and professional practice, reaching wide-ranging areas such as: the military; domestic, child, and elder abuse; human trafficking; sexual assault; and legal and death investigation.

Additionally, this webinar will introduce the variety of forensic nursing roles, methods, and attitudes that shape therapeutic trauma-informed and patient-centered care in nursing. Whether one is a victim or the accused, nurses care for all, and their assessments are valuable. This makes forensic nurses so special to the adjudication process—the combination of their advanced practice with specialized forensic nursing skills. When patients intersect with the legal system, it is particularly difficult to meet their needs as health care providers without specialized knowledge about the impact of trauma and stress. Trauma, particularly intentional trauma as experienced by victims of crimes, is closely associated with the health and health outcomes of that victim; and certain health outcomes can place burdens on individuals, their families, their communities, and the entire health care system.

As the need for forensic nursing leaders with graduate and doctoral education grows, we look to the future for the continued growth of forensic nursing, as a whole. For those working with Forensic Nurses, but who are not forensic nurses, participating in this webinar will provide insight into the strengths and barriers faced in forensic nursing practices, their organizations, and their institutions—all responding to the health of patients experiencing violence and disaster.

[1]  Lynch, V., & Gordon, P. (1990). Clinical Forensic Nursing: A Descriptive Study in Role Development, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.

Detailed Learning Objectives:

1. Discuss the history of the integrated model of forensic nursing, which promotes interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaboration in primary, secondary and tertiary prevention environments
2. Analyze the advanced forensic nursing competencies within the Forensic Nurse Scope and Standards of Practice, Nursing Ethics with Interpretive Statements, and best practice guidelines
3. Outline the future opportunities in advanced forensic nursing as organizations mature and LACE Model of Licensure, Accreditation, Certification, and Education helps reach consensus for practice in the USA

Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence event has been provided by the National Institute of Justice.

Dr. Patricia Speck – DNSc, ARNP, APN, FNP-BC, DF-IAFN, FAAFS, DF-AFN, FAAN, Professor – University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing

Diana Faugno , MSN, RN, CPN, SANE-A, SANE-P, FAAFS, DF-IAFN, DF-AFN – President of the Academy of Forensic Nurses 



Please read this short announcement and follow the registration instructions below.

RTI International and the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence are continually striving to bring you the optimum learning experience when delivering our online events and webinars. To better disseminate our content to the growing forensic community, we are pleased to announce that we are starting to host our events on a new virtual platform. This platform will provide a better user interface, putting more content, discussion, and knowledge at your fingertips.

To register for this event, you may need to build a new account with the instructions below.

Step 1: Go to to create a new account.

Step 2: Once you have successfully created an account, you will receive a confirmation email. Click on the link in the confirmation email to finalize setup of your new account. If you do not receive this email, please email us at for us to manually confirm your account, and contact your email administrator as they may be blocking the confirmation email and future reminders from being received.

Step 3: Once your account creation is complete, navigate to this link to enroll in and register for this webinar:

Step 4: Once you have successfully registered for the event, you will receive a confirmation email. In this confirmation email, there will be a calendar invite as well as a link that will direct you back to the event the day it is scheduled to begin. To receive a reminder about the event, add the invite to your calendar.

Finally, we are excited about our new virtual platform and welcome any feedback you would like to provide at