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L. Kathleen Sekula, PhD, APRN, FAAN

Professor
School of Nursing
Nursing

Fisher Hall 523
Phone: 412.396.4865

Education:

PhD, Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, 1998
MSN, Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, 1986
BSN, Nursing, Duquesne University, 1967
RN, Nursing, St. Vincent Hospital School of Nursing, 1964
Bio

Dr. L. Kathleen Sekula joined the School of Nursing in 1998 and served on the undergraduate and graduate faculty as a Psychiatric Mental Health expert. Her research interests include biochemical and hormonal changes in patients with severe depression and anxiety, care of the sexual assault victim, care of women in correctional settings, and other forensic areas. She received her BSN from Duquesne University, and her MSN and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, and obtained a certificate in Forensic Science from The Cyril H. Wecht Institute for Forensic Science and Law at Duquesne University School of Law.

Dr. Sekula developed one of the first Masters of Science Programs offering a specialty in forensic nursing. In early 2001, because of her expertise in psychiatry, she was asked to develop a graduate program that would interface with The Wecht Institute Certificate program. Forensic nursing was a new area of practice at the time and the incidences of violence were growing at alarming rates. Through her work with other forensic specialists, she developed a unique forensic master's program that incorporated courses developed in The Law School. Subsequently Dr. Sekula applied for and received two program grants from The Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA): the first grant was awarded in September of 2003 in the amount of $820,428, and a second was awarded in 2006 in the amount of $912,421. These grants helped to make the forensic graduate programs among the most popular programs at Duquesne. The graduate forensic programs have grown to include DNP and PhD students.

In the process of developing these programs, Dr. Sekula recognized the need to offer SANE-A (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner - Adult) training programs online for nurses unable to attend the one-week training. Duquesne's online SANE-A training is at the forefront in preparing nurses to serve the needs of victims of sexual assault throughout the country, particularly in rural and underserved areas.

She has been honored as a pioneer in forensic nursing by the International Association of Forensic Nurses Virginia Lynch Award, served as President and member of the Forensic Nurse Certification Board and as a member of the International Journal of Forensic Nursing Editorial Board. It is with this background that Dr. Sekula seeks to further the practice of forensic nursing, both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Sekula was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2011. Her work in the field of forensics and psychiatry were recognized as a major contribution to the advancement of nursing by strengthening the role of forensic nursing regarding victims and perpetrators of violence through her leadership in evidence based graduate programs and her continuing energy to expand forensic nursing science through her research and practice trajectory.

Research

Research Funding

Principal Investigator  Noble Dick Faculty Development Fund, Duquesne University: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Profile of Mood States (POMS) Inventory as a Tool to Measure Depression in a Population of Patients with Lung Cancer, (Amount: $3,427.00), Awarded: September 1999.

Principle Investigator: Variables in the Prosecution of Sexual Assault Cases (2010) (co-investigator: Colbert. A.)

Co-Investigator: Healthcare needs and barriers for women immediately post-incarceration (Principal Investigator: Colbert. A. M.) Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, April 2008

Co-Investigator: Identification of Victims of Interpersonal Violence by Emergency Department Nurses  (Principal Investigator: Colbert. A. M.) School of Nursing Center for Nursing Research Grant, $5,000. May 2009- April 2010.

Co-Investigator: Exploring Safe Sleep and SIDS Risk Perception in a High-Risk Community PI: Zoucha, R. Co-investigators: Colbert, A., Sekula, K., Walters, C. (2011) $4000.00 Sponsored by SIDS of PA and the Birmingham Foundation

Program Funding

Project Director. Three Year Continuation Program Grant: Department of Health and Human Services: Enhancement of the Graduate Forensic Nursing Programs. ($912,421. Funding start date: July, 1, 2006).

Project Director. Three Year Program Grant: Department of Health and Human Services: Enhancement of the Graduate Forensic Nursing Programs. ($820,428. Funding start date: Sept. 3, 2003).       


Scholarship

Book Chapters

Sekula, L. K. & Colbert, A. (2012). Forensic Psychiatric Nursing. In E. Varcarolis, and M. B. Halter (Eds.) Foundations of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, Elsevier: St. Louis.

Sekula, L. K. & Colbert, A. (2010). Forensic Psychiatric Nursing. In E. Varcarolis, and M. B. Halter (Eds.) Foundations of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, Elsevier: St. Louis.

Sekula, L. K. & Burgess, A. W. (2006). Forensic and legal nursing. In C. H. Wecht and J. T. Rago (Eds.), Forensic Science and Law: Investigative Applications in Criminal, Civil, and Family Justice (pps. 601-627), Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Sekula, L. K. (2006) Forensic nursing in the 21st century. Supplemental issue: In C. H. Wecht (Ed.) Forensic Sciences (5th Ed.).

Recent Refereed Publications

Sekula, L. K., Colbert, A. M., Zoucha, R., Amar, A. F., Williams, J. (2011). Strengthening the science of forensic nursing through education and research, Journal of Forensic Nursing, 8(1), 1-2.

McKibbin, A. E., Sekula, L. K., Colbert, A. M., Peltier, J.W. (2011). Assessing the learning needs of South Carolina nurses by exploring their perceived knowledge of emergency preparedness: Evaluation tool.  Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, Dec 42(12), 547-558. DOI: 10.3928/00220124-20111003-04.

Shuster, M. H., Sekula, L. K., Kern, J., & Vazquez, J. A. (2011). Measuring intra-bladder pressure with the head of the bed elevated 30°: Evidence to support a change in practice, American Journal of Critical-Care, July 20(4), 80-89, doi: 10.4037. 

Biddle, V. S., Sekula, L. K., Zoucha, R. & Puskar, K. R. (2010). Identification of Suicide Risk among Rural Youth: Implications for the Use of HEADSS, Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 24, 152-167.

Shuster, M. H., Haines, T., Sekula, L. K., Kern, J., & Vazquez, J. A... (2010). Reliability of intra-bladder pressure measurement in intensive care, American Journal of Critical Care, 19(4) 29-39.

Weiss, A. M. & Sekula, L. K. (2008). Mothers behind bars: A call for research. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 4(2), 97-99.

Sekula, L. K. (2006). World Health Organization rings global alarm bell to address and prevent violence (Invited Paper) Journal of Forensic Nursing, 1(3), 131-132.

Sekula, R. F., Jannetta, P.J., Casey, K. F., Marchan, E. M., Sekula, L.K., & McCrady, C. S. (2005).  Chiari malformation: Concerning a subgroup of patients without significant tonsillar descent. Cerebrospinal Fluid Research, 2(1):11-20.

Sekula, L. K. (2005). The advance practice forensic nurse in the emergency room setting, Topics in Emergency Medicine, 27(1), 5-14.

Clements, P. T., Sekula, L. K. (2005). Toward advancement and evolution of forensic nursing: The interface and interplay of research, theory, and practice. (Invited Paper) Journal of Forensic Nursing, 1(1), 35, 38.

Selected Refereed Presentations

Accomplishing the Goals of the IOM Report in Forensic Nursing (2012). Sekula, L. K., Colbert, A. M., Zoucha, R., Angela Frederick Amar, A. F., Williams, J. International Association of Forensic Nursing Annual Scientific Assembly, October 9-13, Puerto Rico.

Strengthening the Science of Forensic Nursing through Education and Research, (2011). Sekula, L. K., Colbert, A. M., Zoucha, R., Angela Frederick Amar, A. F., Williams, J. International Association of Forensic Nursing Annual Scientific Assembly, October 19-22, Montreal CA.

Final Presentation of Findings: Variables in the Prosecution of Sexual Assault Cases (2010). Colbert, A. M., Sekula, L. K., & Necessary, J. International Association of Forensic Nursing 18th Annual Scientific Assembly: Ending Violence: Leading the Health Care Response, October 27-30, Pittsburgh, PA.

Infant and Fetal Abductions, Burgess, A. W., Nairney, C. & Sekula, L. K. International Association of Forensic Nurses, IAFN 18th Annual Scientific Assembly, October 30, 2010, Pittsburgh, PA.

Designing the Study: Variables in the Prosecution of Sexual Assault Cases: The Impact of Sexual Assault Response Teams (Presentation of the research design) Sekula, L. K., Colbert, A. M., & Necessary, J. Invited Presentation: University of Ottawa Faculty and Student Body. Ottawa Canada, March 12, 2010.

Women's Health Needs Immediately Post-Incarceration: A Feasibility Study, Colbert, A. M., Sekula, L. K., & Zoucha, R. (2010) Eastern Nursing Research Conference, 22nd Annual Scientific Conference, Providence RI, March 24-26, 2010.

Healthcare Needs and History of Interpersonal Violence in Women Immediately Post-Incarceration. (2008). Colbert, A., Cohen, S, Zoucha, R. Sekula, L.K.  International Association of Forensic Nursing Scientific Assembly. Dallas, TX. September, 2008.

Expert Witness: Frye versus Daubert , Flynn, J., Sekula, L.K.,  (2007) International Association of Forensic Nurses 15th Annual Scientific Assembly, Salt Lake City Utah,  October 15-21, 2007.

Cultural Issues in Forensic Practice Addressed within a PhD Program, Zoucha, R., Sekula, L. K., Colbert, A. Annual Conference of the International Society of Transcultural Nursing, Bournemouth, UK. September 19-21, 2007.

Building an On-line Community of Scholars in a Small Research Intensive University, Goodfellow, L., Thurkettle, M. A., Zoucha, R., Sekula, L. K., Henderson, W., Schumacher, G., 19th Annual Scientific Sessions of the Eastern Nursing Research Society, Providence RI, April 12-14, 2007.


Honors/Awards

2011 - Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing

2010 - The Ellen Rudy Clore Excellence in Research Writing Award for 2010 from the Journal of Pediatric Health Care.  Biddle, V. S., Sekula, L. K., Zoucha, R. & Puskar, K. R. (2009). Identification of Suicide Risk among Rural Youth: Implications for the Use of HEADSS, Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 24, 152-16

2009 - Selected to the Office of Research Hall of Fame, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA

2007 - The Virginia Lynch Pioneer in Forensic Nursing Award, International Association of Forensic Nurses, Annual Conference, Salt Lake City Utah

2002 - Rita M. Carty Faculty Leadership Award (2001)                                  

2000 - Presidential Scholarship Award, Duquesne University, Assessment and Treatment of the Patient with Co - morbid Depression and Anxiety.                                     

2000 - Anonymous Donation to the School of Nursing, Duquesne University, in the name of  L. Kathleen Sekula, PhD, RN, CS, to be awarded to a PhD student conducting research in the psychiatric mental health field

1998 - Outstanding University Student, 1998 Honors Convocation, University of Pittsburgh

1997 - Rose E. Constantino Endowed Scholarship for Graduate Studies in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing