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MSN Forensic Nursing Specialty Courses

GNFO 517 Forensic Science and the Legal System - 3 credits

This course introduces students to advanced legal process, the roles and responsibilities of the multi-disciplinary forensic and legal professionals, and the civil and criminal applications of forensic science in the judicial process. The various roles of the forensic nurse at the advanced practice level will be explored. The course will prepare forensic nurses at an advanced practice level to interface with the legal system. The impact of collaborative practice in various levels of policy will be explored. The sources of law, federal and state legal systems, civil and criminal systems, interaction between the law and forensic science in the courtroom, fact versus expert witness, and tasks of the fact finder will be reviewed. Issues related to nurses in the courtroom and their potential impact on the outcome of legal proceedings will be further explored. Specific forensic nursing competencies for professional caring practice will be applied to discussion of medical-legal issues.

GNFO 518 Criminal Law and the Courts - 3 credits

This course introduces the student to the critical processes involved in the collaboration between advanced forensic nursing practice and the legal system. It addresses the theoretical underpinnings of law as well as the interface of forensic science with law and nursing. Students are introduced to the trial process and to the application of the theories of forensic science and evidence collection in the courtroom. Students are exposed to an intensive examination of criminal law and forensic science using crime scene investigation procedures. The roles of the advanced practice forensic nurse within the legal system are examined. Methods of evidence collection in a variety of settings are delineated and the implications for forensic nurses in crime scene reconstruction, death investigation, toxicology, hair and fiber analysis, DNA, ballistics, arson, cyber-crime, psychiatry and psychology, bioterrorism, odontology and anthropology, linguistics, and entomology. The role of the forensic nurse examiner is studied through a 40 hour SANE-A training which prepares students to be precepted and then to sit for national certification.

GNFO 519 Advanced Forensic Nursing I: Theory and Practice - 3 credits

This course is a critical, comprehensive introduction to advanced forensic nursing practice that addresses the knowledge related to care of the forensic patient based on theoretical and scientific principles. It describes the principles and philosophy of forensic nursing in acute care and community settings and the roles of the forensic science professional and advanced practice forensic nurse domestically and internationally are explored. Students will examine theoretical models from a holistic perspective: theory from nursing, related sciences and law to develop theoretical frameworks for guiding forensic nursing practice. Clinical therapeutics focused on the individual's mental and physical health, and ways of maximizing function for victims and the perpetrators, and their families through interventions will be studied. The class also explores assessment tools, diagnosis and treatment, and management of forensic populations using the best available evidence.

GNFO 520 Advanced Forensic Nursing II: Program Development, Leadership & Policy - 3 credits

Prerequisite: GNFO 519 Advanced Forensic Nursing: Theory & Practice

This course focuses on roles and responsibilities of the advanced practice forensic nurse in the healthcare system, specific to program development, leadership and policy. A multidisciplinary approach is used to explore the interactions between nursing and the criminal justice system, and the role of the forensic nurse leader in program administration and policy. The course also analyzes ethical challenges faced by the advanced practice forensic nurse.

GNFO 521 Forensic Clinical and Capstone - 3 credits

Prerequisites: GNFO 519 - Advanced Forensic Nursing I and GNFO 520 - Advanced Forensic Nursing II

This course focuses the advanced practice forensic nurse on the nursing competencies in a chosen area utilizing the scientific, ethical, and legal principles related to forensic nursing. The student will describe and analyze the competencies of clinical judgment, advocacy, caring, collaboration, systems thinking, diversity issues, and facilitation of learning within the clinical practice area of the student's choice. The practicum requires 150 hours in the practice area. An expert forensic nurse (or other forensic clinician) will serve as the mentor for the student. Students will be required to write a formal case study, with evidence based care recommendations, based on a case identified in the practicum hours.