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Sexual Misconduct Policies at Institutes of Higher Education

An Integrative Review

McNair, Katelyn T., MS, RN, WHNP-BC, SANE1; Fantasia, Heidi Collins, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC2; Harris, Allyssa L., PhD, RN, WHNP-BC1

doi: 10.1097/JFN.0000000000000216
Review Article

ABSTRACT Although federal legislation designed to advance sexual misconduct policies at institutes of higher education (IHEs) has been in effect for decades, recent national attention has put more pressure on IHEs to combat sexual violence on their campuses. Thus, the past few years have yielded significant research that examines federal compliance, dissemination, and perception of IHE sexual misconduct policies. This integrative review was conducted to assess sexual misconduct policies in the United States and the potential to prevent and combat sexual violence at IHEs through these policies. Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines and using a quality assessment tool to ensure rigor, eight studies were synthesized. Findings indicate that IHE sexual misconduct policies vary widely and that most IHEs lack transparent, legislation-compliant policies. There remains a need for research examining the association between sexual misconduct policy, campus climate, and students' behavior, so as to better inform future sexual misconduct interventions and IHE policies. Forensic nurses may be key stakeholders in policy development that is currently missing from the literature.

Author Affiliations: 1William F. Connell School of Nursing, Boston College;

2Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences, Susan and Alan Solomont School of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Lowell.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Katelyn T. McNair, MS, RN, WHNP-BC, SANE, William F. Connell School of Nursing, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. E-mail:

Received July 17, 2018; accepted for publication September 13, 2018.

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