Forensic Nursing

Forensic nursing helps to collect evidence in settings such as the emergency room, intensive care unit, critical care unit, labor and delivery unit, pediatric unit, as well as the general medical, surgical, psychiatric units, and extended care settings. Forensic nursing can be performed in settings wherever nurses practice, including schools, prisons, and the community. Forensic nurses provide care to patients in an objective and impartial manner, seeking the truth and supporting the provision of care that is sensitive and respectful and that also incorporates scientific knowledge and evidence-based practice. Because nurses are frequently the first professionals to see a patient in a health-care setting and may have 24-hour responsibility for the provision of nursing care, trained and experienced forensic nurses are vital in the clinical setting. In this capacity, the nurse comes in contact with various types of patients and their families and must also address issues related to critical physical and nonphysical evidence. Initial and long-term contact offer opportunities for the forensic nurse to address documentation, collection, protection, and storage of evidence that is critical to assessment, treatment, evaluation, investigation, and disposition of the patients’ health care and the legal outcome of a case.

Constantino, R. E., Crane, P. A., & Young, S. E. (2012). Forensic nursing: Evidence-based principles and practice. FA Davis.