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Forensic Nursing State of the Science

Research and Practice Opportunities

Drake, Stacy A. PhD, MPH, RN1; Koetting, Cathy DNP, RN2; Thimsen, Kathi DNP, RN3; Downing, Nancy PhD, RN4; Porta, Carolyn PhD, MPH, RN5; Hardy, Peggy MA, PMHNP, RN6; Valentine, Julie L. PhD, RN7; Finn, Cris PhD, RN8; Engebretson, Joan PhD, RN1

doi: 10.1097/JFN.0000000000000181
Original Articles

Introduction: The International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) is the only nursing organization advancing the forensic nursing specialty. The organization seeks to advance the profession, and one mechanism for doing so is development of a research agenda.

Methods: The purpose of this action-based research study was to aid in the development of a forensic nursing research agenda. The study was carried out in two integral stages: (a) focus groups with IAFN members attending the annual conference and (b) reviewing posted IAFN member listserv material.

Results: The findings of this study identified similar gaps of other nursing specialties experiencing “growing pains,” including role confusion and variation in educational preparation.

Conclusion: Findings from this study will inform development of the IAFN 5-year research agenda to advance forensic nursing science and evidence-based practice.

Author Affiliations:1School of Nursing, The University of Texas Health Science Center; 2Saint Louis University School of Nursing; 3Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes Jewish College; 4Texas A&M College of Nursing; 5University of Minnesota School of Nursing; 6Forensic Nurse Consultant; Kanji Mental Health Services, Huntington, Long Island, New York 7Brigham Young University College of Nursing; and 8Regis University.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Stacy A. Drake, PhD, MPH, RN, 6901 Bertner Ave #748, Houston, Texas 77054; E-mail:

Received August 15, 2017; accepted for publication November 17, 2017.

© 2018 by the International Association of Forensic Nurses. All rights reserved.
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