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Why We Do What We Do: A Theoretical Evaluation of the Integrated Practice Model for Forensic Nursing Science

Valentine, Julie L. MS, RN, CNE, SANE-A

Journal of Forensic Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/JFN.0000000000000041
Original Article

Abstract: An evaluation of the Integrated Practice Model for Forensic Nursing Science (Lynch, 2006, 2011) is presented utilizing methods outlined by Meleis (2012). A brief review of nursing theory basics and evaluation methods by Meleis is provided to enhance understanding of the ensuing theoretical evaluation and critique. The Integrated Practice Model for Forensic Nursing Science, created by forensic nursing pioneer Virginia Lynch, captures the theories, assumptions, concepts, and propositions inherent in forensic nursing practice and science. The historical background of the theory is explored as Lynch’s model launched the role development of forensic nursing practice as both a nursing and forensic science specialty. It is derived from a combination of nursing, sociological, and philosophical theories to reflect the grounding of forensic nursing in the nursing, legal, psychological, and scientific communities. As Lynch’s model is the first inception of forensic nursing theory, it is representative of a conceptual framework although the title implies a practice theory. The clarity and consistency displayed in the theory’s structural components of assumptions, concepts, and propositions are analyzed. The model is described and evaluated. A summary of the strengths and limitations of the model is compiled followed by application to practice, education, and research with suggestions for ongoing theory development.

Author Information

Author Affiliations: Assistant Professor, Brigham Young University College of Nursing; SANE, Salt Lake Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners and Center for Safe and Healthy Families, Primary Children’s Medical Center; and PhD student, Duquesne University School of Nursing.

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Julie L. Valentine, MS, RN, CNE, SANE-A, Brigham Young University, 532 SWKT Provo, UT 84602. E-mail:

Received November 8, 2013; accepted for publication July 9, 2014.

© 2014 by the International Association of Forensic Nurses. All rights reserved.

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