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MSN Forensic Nursing Specialty Courses

GNFO 500 Introduction to Forensic Nursing and Health - 3 credits

This course focuses on the various roles of the forensic nurse in order to research patient characteristics and nursing competencies elucidated in the synergy model. Interactions among patient characteristics of vulnerability, resiliency, stability, complexity, resources, participation in care and decision making, and predictability of diverse forensic patients will be explored. The integration of scientific, ethical, and legal principles into nursing practice will be discussed.

GNFO 501 Advanced Practice Forensic Nursing - 3 credits

This course focuses on advanced concepts in forensic nursing in order to provide nurses with more in depth understanding of patient, nurse, and health care outcomes. Patient outcomes include functional and behavioral changes, trust, satisfaction, comfort, and quality of life. Outcomes that are derived from nursing competencies include physiological changes, complications and the treatment objectives obtained. System outcomes include admission rates, hospital stay and cost of health care per case.

GNFO 511 Theories of Violence - 3 credits

This course examines the origins and evolution of multiple theories of violence. Students will examine the reactions of victims and their families to the trauma of violence. Motivation for crime, stages of a crime and possible victim responses to crime will be discussed. Myths supporting a victim-blaming belief pattern will be explored within the overall social response to crime. Emphasis will be given to exploring the elements of violence and response patterns of victims and society. Evidenced-based interventions and services available to victims of crime and to prevent crime and violence will be discussed.

GNFO 512 Forensic Science, the Legal System, and Civil Law - 3 credits

This course introduces the legal process, the roles and responsibilities of the multi-disciplinary forensic and legal professionals, and the civil and criminal applications of forensic science in the judicial process. The course will prepare nurses to interface with the legal system. The recognition, collection, analysis and preservation of physical evidence are presented. The sources of law, federal and state legal systems, civil and criminal systems, interaction between the law and forensic science in the courtroom, fact versus expert witness, and tasks of the fact finder will be reviewed. Specific forensic nursing competencies for professional caring practice will be applied to discussion of medical-legal issues.

Discussion will elaborate on application of the synergy model concepts of forensic patient characteristics and the nursing competencies in resolution of the forensic cases.

GNFO 513 Trial Preparation and Criminal Law - 3 credits

This course introduces the processes of trial preparation and the trial, and provides a scenario for the application of the theories of evidence collection. The roles of fact witnesses as presenters of fact evidence, and experts as presenters of expert testimony are discussed. A mock crime scene is presented. An intensive examination of criminal law and forensic science is conducted using crime scene investigation procedures. Forensic evidence collection, laboratory testing, chain of custody, and the implications for legal outcomes are presented. Methods of evidence collection in a variety of settings are delineated and the implications for forensic nurses in crime scene reconstruction, death investigation, toxicology, hair and fiber analysis, DNA, ballistics, arson, cyber-crime, psychiatry and psychology, bioterrorism, odontology and anthropology, linguistics, and entomology. Discussion will elaborate on application of the synergy model concepts of forensic patient characteristics and the nursing competencies in resolution of the forensic cases.

GNFO 514 Forensic Clinical - 2 credits

This course focuses the advanced practice forensic nurse on the nursing competencies in a chosen area utilizing the scientific, ethical, and legal principles related to forensic nursing. The student will describe and analyze the competencies of clinical judgment, advocacy, caring, collaboration, systems thinking, diversity issues, and facilitation of learning within the clinical practice area of the student’s choice. An expert forensic nurse (or other forensic clinician) will serve as the mentor for the student.

GNFO 515 Research and Writing in Forensic Nursing - 1 credit

This segment of the program reflects the credit hours earned in the process of writing a paper that is researched and written under the supervision of a faculty member. Research and writing skills are emphasized. The student will choose an independent study topic and will contract with a preceptor to study a specific area of forensic practice. The final paper will reflect the utilization of concepts in the synergy model for professional nursing practice applicable to the area of focus. Concepts set forth in the paper will incorporate the collaborative nature of forensic nursing practice to improve health and legal outcomes for forensic patients/and or perpetrators.