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Nursing School Wins Grant for Graduate Forensic Program

The Department of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded the Duquesne University School of Nursing a grant of $912,000 over three years.

The grant, which HRSA terms a “continuation” Advanced Education Nursing Grant, will help the School of Nursing develop a forensic research focus in its Ph.D. program. Funds will be used for the salary of a new faculty member, who will oversee guidance for graduate and faculty forensic research projects, and for initiatives that support the research and publishing efforts of graduate forensic nursing students.

The continuation program grant was awarded, in part, because of the success of a previous HRSA grant of approximately $800,000 that helped establish the School of Nursing’s master’s and post-master’s programs in forensic nursing.

“Forensic nursing is an emerging area of practice for nurses, and Duquesne’s School of Nursing has been at the forefront in developing much-needed forensic nursing roles in health care settings” said Dr. Kathleen Sekula, associate professor of nursing and coordinator of the forensic nursing program, who was instrumental in garnering the grant.

Graduates of the forensic nursing programs at Duquesne, according to Sekula, are creating new positions for the advanced practice nurse in health care and community settings. In addition to having the expertise needed for cases involving domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault, examples of new roles for forensic nurses include working with attorneys on behalf of clients on death row, as risk management experts and as consultants who collaborate with government agencies to establish public and private agency policies about forensic care for victims and perpetrators.

Now in its fifth year, Duquesne’s graduate forensic nursing program has an online format that attracts nurses from across the nation, including many from rural and underserved areas, as well as international students and members of the military. 

Duquesne is one of only a few universities in the United States with a doctorate program in nursing that offers a forensic focus. The graduate forensic nursing program is conducted in collaboration with The Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.