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Photo of Dr. Kathleen Sekula

L. Kathleen Sekula, PhD, PMHCNS, FAAN

Professor
School of Nursing
Nursing

Fisher Hall 523
Phone: 412.973.6116
sekula@duq.edu

Education:

Certificate, The Cyril H. Wecht Institute for Forensic Science and Law, 2002
MSN, Post-Master's, Psychiatric Nursing, Duquesne University, 1999
PhD, Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, 1998
MSN, Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, 1986
BSN, Nursing, Duquesne University, 1967
RN, Nursing, St. Vincent Hospital School of Nursing, 1964
Bio

Dr. L. Kathleen Sekula joined the School of Nursing in 1998 and served on the undergraduate and graduate faculty as a Psychiatric Mental Health expert. Her research interests include care of the sexual assault victim, trauma informed care, and other forensic areas. She received her BSN from Duquesne University, and her MSN and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, and obtained a certificate in Forensic Science from The Cyril H. Wecht Institute for Forensic Science and Law at Duquesne University School of Law.

Dr. Sekula developed one of the first Masters of Science Programs offering a specialty in Forensic Nursing. In early 2001, because of her expertise in psychiatry, she was asked to develop a graduate program that would interface with The Wecht Institute Certificate program. Forensic nursing was a new area of practice at the time and the incidences of violence were growing at alarming rates. Through her work with other forensic specialists, she developed a unique forensic master's program that incorporated courses developed in The Law School, along with newly formed advanced practice forensic nursing courses. Subsequently Dr. Sekula applied for and received two program grants from The Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA): the first grant was awarded in September of 2003 in the amount of $820,428, and a second was awarded in 2006 in the amount of $912,421. These grants helped to make the forensic graduate programs among the most popular programs at Duquesne University and throughout the forensic nursing community. The graduate MSN forensic programs have grown to include DNP and PhD programs.

In the process of developing these programs, Dr. Sekula recognized the need to offer SANE-A (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner - Adult) training programs online for nurses unable to attend the one-week training. Duquesne's online SANE-A training is at the forefront in preparing nurses to serve the needs of victims of sexual assault throughout the country, particularly in rural and underserved areas.

She has been honored as a pioneer in forensic nursing by the International Association of Forensic Nurses Virginia Lynch Award, served as President and member of the Forensic Nurse Certification Board, as a member of the International Journal of Forensic Nursing Editorial Board, and as a member of the IAFN Board of directors. It is with this background that Dr. Sekula seeks to further the practice of forensic nursing, both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Sekula was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2011. Her work in the field of forensics and psychiatry were recognized as a major contribution to the advancement of nursing by strengthening the role of forensic nursing regarding victims and perpetrators of violence through her leadership in evidence based graduate programs and her continuing energy to expand forensic nursing science through her research and practice trajectory.

Funding

Program and Research Funding

Faculty Mentor - Three Year Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Faculty Scholars Program, Awardee: Alison M. Colbert, Awarded September 2010 ($350,000).

Project Director Three Year Continuation Program Grant: Department of Health and Human Services: Enhancement of the Graduate Forensic Nursing Programs. ($912,421.00. Funding start date: July, 1, 2006).

Project Director Three Year Program Grant: Department of Health and Human Services: Enhancement of the Graduate Forensic Nursing Programs. ($820,428.00. Funding start date: Sept. 3, 2003).

Principal Investigator Noble Dick Faculty Development Fund, Duquesne University: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Profile of Mood States (POMS) Inventory as a Tool to Measure Depression in a Population of Patients with Lung Cancer, (Amount: $3,427.00), Awarded: September 1999.

Co-Investigator: Healthcare needs and barriers for women immediately post-incarceration (Principal Investigator: Colbert. A. M.) Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, April 2008

Co-Investigator: Identification of Victims of Interpersonal Violence by Emergency Department Nurses  (Principal Investigator: Colbert. A. M.) School of Nursing Center for Nursing Research Grant, $5,000. May 2009- April 2010.

Scholarship

Recent Publications:

Davis, K. & Sekula, L. K. (2018). Issues in forensic nursing: Stigmatization of overweight women during forensic examination, Journal of Forensic Nursing.

Lyden, C., Sekula, L. K., Higgins, B., & Zoucha, R. (2018). Job satisfaction and empowerment of self-employed nurse practitioners: A mixed methods study, Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 30(2), 78-91.

Karakachian, A., Eichman, A., & Sekula K. (2017). Understanding the importance of radiology screening when suspecting child abuse, Journal of Radiology Nursing, 36(2), 70-78.

Vitko, H. A., Sekula, L. K., & Schreiber, M. A. (2017). Probiotics for trauma patients: Should we be taking a precautionary approach? Journal of Trauma Nursing, Jan/Feb;24(1): 46-52. doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000263.

Wright-Brown, S., Sekula, L. K., Gillespie, G. & Zoucha, R. (2016). The experiences of registered nurses who are injured by interpersonal violence while on duty in an emergency department, Journal of Forensic Nursing, 12 (4), 189-197.

Valentine, J., Sekula, L. K., Cook, L. J., Campbell, R., Colbert, A., & Weedn, V. W. (2016). Justice denied: Low submission rates of sexual assault kits and the predicting variables, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1-27. DOI: 10.11777/0886260516681881.

Amar, A. F., & Sekula, L. K. (2016). Nursing care for victims of violence: Forensic nursing techniques assist the most vulnerable patients. Advance Healthcare NETWORK. Retrieved from: http://nursing.advanceweb.com/Features/Articles/Nursing-Care-for-Victims-of-Violence.aspx

Colbert, A. M., Goshin, L., Durand, V., Zoucha, R., & Sekula, L. K., (2016). Women in Transition: Experiences of Health and Healthcare for Women Living in Community Corrections Facilities, Research in Nursing and Health, Epub ahead of print 2016, July 27, Research in Nursing & Health.

Burgess, A. W., Sekula, L. K. & Carretta, C. M. (2015). Homicide-suicide and duty to warn. Journal of Psychosomatic Psychiatry 43(1). 67-90.

Biddle, V. S., Kern, J., Brent, D. B., Thurkettle, M. A., Puskar, K. R. & Sekula, L. K. (2014). Student Assistance Program Outcomes for Adolescents at Risk for Suicide, Journal of School Nursing, 30:173 originally published online 18 March 2014, DOI: 10.1177/1059840514525968.

Colbert, A.M., Sekula, L.K., Zoucha, R., Cohen, S.M., (2013). Health care needs of women immediately post-incarceration: A Mixed Methods Study. Public Health Nursing, 30, 5, 409-19.

Sekula, L. K., Colbert, A. M., Zoucha, R., Amar, A. F., Williams, J. (2011). Strengthening the science of forensic nursing through education and research, Journal of Forensic Nursing, 8(1), 1-2.

McKibbin, A. E., Sekula, L. K., Colbert, A. M., Peltier, J.W. (2011). Assessing the learning needs of South Carolina nurses by exploring their perceived knowledge of emergency preparedness: Evaluation tool. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, Dec 42(12), 547-558. DOI: 10.3928/00220124-20111003-04.

Shuster, M. H., Sekula, L. K., Kern, J., & Vazquez, J. A. (2011). Measuring intra-bladder pressure with the head of the bed elevated 30°: Evidence to support a change in practice, American Journal of Critical-Care, July 20(4), 80-89, doi: 10.4037.

Biddle, V. S., Sekula, L. K., Zoucha, R. & Puskar, K. R. (2010). Identification of suicide risk among rural youth: Implications for the use of HEADSS, Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 24, 152-167.

Selected Refereed Presentations

Lyden, C. & Sekula, L. K., (2018). Job satisfaction and empowerment of self-employed nurse practitioners: A mixed methods study, American Association of Nurse Practitioners National Conference, Denver. CO, June 26-July 1.

Karakachian, A., Eichman, A., & Sekula K. (2017). Understanding the importance of radiology screening when suspecting child abuse, Children's Hospital Research Symposium, October 25, 2017.

You as a Forensic Nurse: What Frames Your Practice, Education, and Research? (2017). Valentine, J., Sekula, L. K., & Lynch, V., IAFN Annual Scientific Meeting, October 10-13, Toronto.

Kramer, N. & Sekula, L. K. (2017). Parents of children who had hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, Society of Pediatric Nurses 27th Annual Conference, SPN: A Bright Future for Pediatric Care, West Palm Beach, April 6-9.

Curricular Innovation - Required International Experience for PhD Students (2017). Turk, M., Zoucha, R., Sekula, L. K., & Kalarchian, M., AACN 2017 Doctoral Education Conference, January 17-21, Coronado, CA.

Crafting a Career in Forensic Nursing: Turning your Education, Skills & Experience into a Prized Career (2015). Colbert, A. M., Shane. D. & Sekula. L. K., Horizons 2015 Conference, Pennsylvania ENA State Council, June 4-5, Wilkes-Barre PA.

Collins, E. C., Sekula, L. K. & Cohen, S. M. (2015) Acupuncture and Menopausal Memory Changes in Women with Breast Cancer, Sigma Theta Tau 43rd Biennial Convention, November 7-11, 2015, Las Vegas.

Crafting a Career in Forensics: Turning Your Education and Expertise into a Prized Career (2014). Colbert, A. M, Sekula, L. K., & Rakeeb, H. International Conference on Forensic Nursing Science and Practice, October 22 - 25, 2014, Phoenix AZ.

Forensic Nursing: The New Healthcare System (2014). Sekula, L.K. & Shane, D., ENA 2014 Annual Conference: Safe Practice, Safe Care, Oct. 7 - 11, Indianapolis, IN.

The Roles of the Legal Nurse Consultant and the Nurse Expert in Forensic Investigations and Legal Proceedings, (2012). Forensic Friday Presentations (CLE and CEU offering, 3 hours). The Cyril Wecht Institute for Forensic Science and Law. April 20, Pittsburgh PA.

Forensics and the Nurse Practitioner in Practice, Sekula, L. K., Bailey, D., Stoffel, H. National Nurse Practitioner Symposium, 3½ hour Workshop Session. Copper Mountain Colorado, July 14-17, 2011.

Forensic Investigation of Sexual Assault Cases, (2011). Sekula, L. K., Schreiber, V., Collins, M. & Hoffman, C. The Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law First Fridays Continuing Education (Nursing and Law CEUs), May 14, 2011, Pittsburgh PA.

Honors/Awards

2018 - 2018 Article of the Year Award, Journal of Radiology Nursing.
Karakachian, A., Eichman, A., & Sekula K. (2017). Understanding the importance of radiology screening when suspecting child abuse, Journal of Radiology Nursing, 36(2), 70-78.

2016 - American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Awards -A practical guide to forensic nursing: Incorporating forensic principles into nursing practice. Amar, A. F. & Sekula, L. K.
1st Place - 2016 AJN Book of the Year Award in Critical Care- Emergency Nursing cateory.
3rd Place - 2016 AJN Book of the Year Award in the Medial-Surgical Nursing category.

2015 - Nominated for the UPMC Legacy of Nursing Award

2011 - Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing

2010 - The Ellen Rudy Clore Excellence in Research Writing Award for 2010 from the Journal of Pediatric Health Care. Biddle, V. S., Sekula, L. K., Zoucha, R. & Puskar, K. R. (2009). Identification of Suicide Risk among Rural Youth: Implications for the Use of HEADSS, Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 24, 152-16

2009 - Selected to the Office of Research Hall of Fame, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA

2007 - The Virginia Lynch Pioneer in Forensic Nursing Award, International Association of Forensic Nurses, Annual Conference, Salt Lake City Utah