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FN 500

Forensic Nursing: Theory & Practice I

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The forensic nursing specialty is the application of the forensic aspects of healthcare combined with the bio/psycho/social/spiritual education of the registered nurse in the scientific investigation and treatment of trauma and/or death of victims and perpetrators of violence, criminal activity and traumatic accidents.  The forensic nurse provides direct services to individual clients, consultation services to nursing, medical and law-related agencies, as well as providing expert court testimony in areas dealing with questioned death investigative processes, adequacy of services delivery and specialized diagnoses to specific conditions as related to nursing (Lynch,1991). 

This is the first course in the forensic nursing practice continuing education curriculum. It presents the elemental concepts pertaining to the development of forensic nursing practice as a scientific and artistic discipline which delves into the intricacies of the justice system and of the healthcare system.  The forensic registered nurse will need to understand the foundational concepts to discover the relationship between clinical nursing practice and forensic science. Concepts of Forensic Nursing Science, as well as theories and applications are presented. Students will study the history and development of the specialty as well as the epidemiology of violence. Course Code: FN 500. 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.

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 Chapters One (1) through Chapter Seven (7) in the required text book.


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.

Link to Purchase on Amazon.com: 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. Access information

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals (The Provider) is approved by the California Board of Registered Nurses, Provider number # CEP 15595 for 50 Contact Hours.

This course, which is approved by the Florida State Board Of Nursing (CE Provider # 50-11975) also has the following Board of Nursing Approvals, for 50 contact hours of CE:

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the Arkansas Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the Georgia Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the South Carolina Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Professional Registered Nurses. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the New Mexico Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.

Course Refund & AIHCP Policies: access here

Online Classroom Resouces and Tools

* 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:

  • Recognize forensic nursing science as a specialty discipline in professional nursing practice.
  • Identify the various roles of nurses within the forensic nursing practice framework.
  • Describe the organization of forensic nursing theory.
  • Associate advance forensic nursing practice to environment, human beings, health, and the practitioner’s nursing functions.
  • Examine the definition and issues concerning the epidemiology of violence.
  • Discover the significance of multidisciplinary collaboration in forensic nursing practice.
  • Distinguish the value of sociocultural considerations and transcultural understanding in forensic nursing practice.
  • Determine ethical factors in forensic nursing practice.
  • Realize the basic concepts of the American justice system.
  • Acknowledge the legal procedures in criminal and civil cases.

Course content

Chapter 1
Forensic Nursing Science
History and Development
The Forensic Nurse
Forensic Case Management
The Investigation of Death
Vicarious Trauma
Forensic Nursing, Present and Future

Chapter 2
Theoretical Foundations for Advanced Practice Forensic Nursing
Organizing Forensic Nursing Theory
Human Beings

Chapter 3
Epidemiology of Violence
Violence Defined
Sources of Data
The Epidemiology of Violence

Chapter 4
Multidisciplinary Collaboration
Multidisciplinary Collaboration Defined
A Theory of Collaboration
Internal and External Collaboration
The Drive to Bond
Practical Collaboration
Future Directions in Collaboration

Chapter 5
Sociocultural Diversity
The Experience of Culture
Applying Transcultural Understanding in Forensic Nursing
A Cultural Process Model of Recovery

Chapter 6
Ethical Considerations in Forensic Nursing
Recurring Concepts in Ethical Discourse of Forensic Nursing Practice
Points of Ethical Tension in Forensic Practice
The Unhappy Prisoner

Chapter 7
Overview of the American Justice System
Sources of Lawmaking Powers and Laws
Federal and State Court Systems
The Case Procedure
Criminal and Civil Procedure
Civil Litigation

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