Forensic science has become increasingly relevant to health professionals’ roles in preserving trace evidence when crimes have been committed.
The aim of the study was to assess the efficacy of a structured intervention to improve nursing students’ knowledge of forensic nursing practices.
A pretest/posttest quasi-experimental study, without a control group, was conducted. A nonprobabilistic sample of students from the third and fourth years of a nursing degree program took part in the study. The General Questionnaire on Forensic Nursing and the Questionnaire on Knowledge of Forensic Nursing Practices were administered before and after a structured intervention.
Eighty-seven students (mean age of 22.8 ± 3.9 years) took part in the study. Of the participants, 85.7% were female, 98.8% claimed they had not received training in forensic nursing during their degree, and 97.6% reported that they did not have contact with situations that involved the collection and preservation of forensic evidence during their internships. As for their knowledge of forensic practices, out of a total of 74 questions, the number of right answers after the course (69.15 ± 3.05) was higher than the result obtained previously (62.95 ± 4.47). The difference was statistically significant (p < 0.01), leading to the conclusion that the structured intervention was effective in improving knowledge of forensic nursing practices.
The results demonstrated the importance of specific training in forensic nursing and support the conclusion that a curricular unit in this area should be developed for inclusion in nursing degree curricula.