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FN 540

Forensic Nursing: Theory & Practice III

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Course Information

This course is the third course in the forensic nursing practice program. Students will continue their studies in forensic practice and will study major topics related to the role of the forensic registered nurse. Topics to be covered include death investigations, evidence collection and documentation, sexual assault, biological evidence and DNA, and computer crimes. Students will also expand their awareness and appreciation of the multifaceted role of the registered nurse in forensic practice today. Course Code: FN 540. Contact hours of education = 50.

Pre-requisite: You must be currently licensed as a Registered Nurse in order to register for this continuing education course and you must have successfully completed the first course, FN 500: Forensic Nursing: Theory & Practice I. and FN 520: Forensic Nursing: Theory & Practice II.

This course is particularly designed for registered nurses would like to apply for Certification in Forensic Nursing Practice by the American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc.

Instructor/Course Author:  EM V. Garcia, DHEd, DNS, MA, RN, FACLNC

Link to Resume

TIME FRAME: You are allotted two years from the date of enrollment, to complete all of the courses in the Forensic Nursing Practice program. There are no set time-frames, other than the two year allotted time. If you do not complete the courses within the two-year time-frame, you will be removed from the course and an "incomplete" will be recorded for you in our records. Also, if you would like to complete the courses after this two-year expiration time, you would need to register and pay the course tuition fee again.

Reading/Study Assignment: this course covers Chapter fifteen (15) through Chapter twenty (20).


Forensic Nursing:  A Handbook for Practice. Rita M. Hammer, Barbara Moynihan, & Elaine M. Pagliaro. Jones & Bartlett Publishing Inc. April 25, 2009.
ISBN-10: 076377703X   ISBN-13: 978-0763777036 Paper back edition.


AIHCP Online Bookstore: AIHCP provides an online bookstore stocked with all of the required textbooks, and/or materials required for its CE courses. To purchase this book online, click the access store link, go to the table of categories, right upper hand corner, and click on Forensic Nursing. Access AIHCP Store: click here


Instructor: Your instructor for this course is Dr. EM V. Garcia a registered nurse and currently practicing as a nurse executive in California. Dr. Garcia has had extensive training and education in forensic nursing and sexual assault examination from the University of California, Riverside. He is a Certified Specialist in Legal Nurse Consulting and a Fellow in the American College of Legal Nurse Consulting. Access information.

GRADING: You must achieve a passing score of at least 70% to complete this course and receive the 50 hours of awarded continuing education credit. There are no letter grades assigned. You will receive notice of your total % score. Those who score below the minimum of 70% will be contacted by the and options for completing additional course work to achieve a passing score, will be presented.

BOARD APPROVALS: AIHCP is an approved provider of continuing education by the Florida Board of Nursing and the District of Columbia Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975. The American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc. is a licensed Continuing Education Provider in the State of California, Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # CEP 15595. Access information

Online Classroom Resouces and Tools

* Message Boards: each specialty program has an area to "post" on the message board. Students may post messages at anytime. Posting allows students to converse with those in the same specialty practice and to discuss issues/course content etc. Instructions for posting are provided in the online classrooms.

* Chat Rooms: each specialty has it's own unique "chat room." Inside of the classroom there is a schedule for "chat time" with students in your specific specialty practice. Participating in "chats" is voluntary. The chat sessions are used as means for students to come together and discuss course content or anything related to the courses and/or certification specialty.

* Examination Access: there is link to take you right to the online examination program where you can print out your examination and work with it. All examinations are formatted as "open book" tests. When you are ready, you can access the exam program at anytime and click in your responses to the questions. Full information is provided in the online classrooms.

* Student Resource Center: there is a link for access to a web page "Student Resource Center." The Resource Center provides for easy access to all of our policies/procedures and additional information regarding applying for certification. We also have many links to many outside reference sites, such as online libraries that you may freely access.

* Online Evaluation: there is a link in the classroom where you may access the course evaluation. All students completing a course, must, without exception, complete the course evaluation.

* Faculty Access Information: you will have access to your instructor's online resume/biography, as well as your instructor's specific contact information.

* Additional Learning Materials: some faculty have prepared additional "readings" and /or brief lecture notes to enhance your experience. All of these are available in the online classrooms.

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Course Objectives: Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

1. Discuss death investigator roles including the history of these roles.
2. Detail the steps in a death investigation.
3. Discuss assessments for determining time of death.
4. Define assessment parameters of the corpse in a death investigation.
5. Define various types of causes of death and assessment findings.
6. Discuss the process for proper documentation of forensic evidence.
7. Detail the procedures used to collect forensic evidence at a death investigation.
8. Discuss legal and ethical considerations in death investigations.
9. Discuss HIPPA and how it relates to death investigations and evidence.
10. Explore issues of photography in death investigations.
11. Define the role of photography in the courtroom.
12. Explore the role of the sexual assault forensic examiner.
13. Define and discuss effects seen in victims of sexual assault.
14. Discuss all processes and procedures of the sexual assault forensic examination.
15. Define assessment parameters and standards for physical assessment.
16. Understand how biological evidence must be transferred.
17. Define the procedures for collection and preservation of evidence in cases of sexual assault.
18. Understand and discuss outcomes of DNA analysis.
19. Understand interpretation of DNA test results.
20. Discuss how computers and the internet facilitate crime.
21. Define and discuss the major types of computer-assisted crime.
22. Define and discuss illegal sexual encounters.
23. Discuss issues related to health care fraud and organ transplantation.



An Abstract of Course Content:

Chapter 15:  Death Investigation

History of Death Investigation
Death Investigator Roles
The Role of the Medical Examiner
The Investigation
Cause and Manner of Death
Clinical Forensic Nursing
Time of Death and Postmortem Changes
Human Decomposition
Identification of Human Remains
Types of Injury
Sharp Force Injuries
Guns and Gunshot Wounds

Chapter 16:  Evidence Collection and Documentation

Basic Theories of Evidence Collection
Forensic Evidence
Function of the Forensic Laboratory
Documentation of Physical Evidence
Collection of Evidence from the Decreased Patient
Evidence from Poisoning or Overdose
Legal Considerations
The Legal Nurse Consultant

Chapter 17:  Concepts of Photography in Forensic Nursing

Photographic Equipment
Basic Photography
Location and Subject Matter
Evidence Documentation
Digital Photography in Forensic Nursing
Photography in the Courtroom

Chapter 18:  Sexual Assault Intervention and the Forensic Examination

The Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner
Definitions on Sexual Assault
Effects on Victims of Sexual Assault
The Forensic Examination
Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault
Perpetrator Evidence Collection
The Physical Examination
Sexual Assault Response Teams

Chapter 19:  The Use of Biological Evidence and DNA Databanks to Aid Criminal Investigations

Sources of Biological Evidence
Biological Evidence Transfer
Collection and Preservation of Biological Evidence
History of Biological Evidence Examination
Laboratory Analysis of Biological Evidence
Individualization of Biological Evidence by DNA Analysis
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Forensic DNA Analysis Case Studies
Mitochondrial DNA Testing
Interpretation of DNA Results
Felon DNA Databanks
Challenges to DNA Admissibility

Chapter 20:  Computer-Assisted and Internet Crime

How Computers and the Internet Facilitate Crimes
Types of Computer-Assisted Crime
Computers and Crime Against Persons
Illegal Sexual Encounters
Health Care Fraud
Organ Transplantation

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