Barbara Simmons, PhD, RN Funded Projects
Advanced Practice Forensic Nursing Program
Funding Source: Health Resources and Services Administration
Dates: 07/01/07 - 06/30/10
Barbara Camune, Sheryl Stogis, Diana Wikle
The purpose of this new application, the Advanced Practice Forensic Nurse (APFN) program, is to add a new specialty concentration at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Nursing (CON) and to prepare advanced practice nurses to assist victims of crime in urban, rural and all medically underserved areas (MUAs). The American healthcare system often fails to provide appropriate care to people of all ages who deal with violence. An enormous need exists today to help victims of all ages and their families deal with the physical, psychological, and legal implications of violent crimes. Nurses in hospitals and correctional facilities may be the first to gather evidence and/or care for the alleged perpetrator. There are currently only 21 graduate and certificate forensic nursing programs in the U.S. UIC is dedicated to preparing advanced practice nurses to provide comprehensive, culturally appropriate, evidence-based, and coordinated care to individuals who are victims of violent crimes. Illinois requires advanced practice nurses (APNs) to improve the quality of and access to healthcare, especially in rural and medically underserved areas (MUA) (25 of 102 Illinois counties are MUAs; 25 are Health Professional Shortage Areas [ HPSAs]; 5 are both MUAs and HPSAs). UIC, offering Illinois 's only APFN program, is challenged to prepare MUA, urban and rural providers who will meet the physical and psychological needs of victims and their families, as well as all others whose lives are affected by violence. Objectives for this project are to: 1) develop and implement an APFN program focused on social issues related to violence, criminal psychopathology, unintentional injury within and outside healthcare settings, prison populations, domestic abuse, sexual assault, child and adolescent abuse, elder abuse, death investigation, and legal standards and practices; 2) recruit, admit, and retain 24 APFN students with particular attention to underrepresented students and students planning practice in rural areas or with underserved populations; 3) recruit and develop clinical preceptors in a variety of sites throughout Illinois, paying particular attention to those in underrepresented groups and medically underserved areas; 4) establish and strengthen linkages among faculty, clinical agencies, other healthcare provider groups and leaders in the field of forensics (for curricular refinement, clinical practicum venue expansion, and employment positions). We propose a comprehensive set of strategies to meet the four objectives within the 3-year project. Comprehensive, systematic evaluations will be implemented to assess: 1) APFN program process, 2) student outcomes using pre-/post-assessment strategies (formative), and 3) APFN program outcomes based on analysis of three student cohorts (summative). Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared for certification in their own specialty and be eligible to apply for SANE certification through the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN). Students will also be eligible for Correctional Health Professional (CCHP) certification by the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare (NCCHC). Eligibility for Legal Nurse Consultant Certification (LNCC) will depend on required hours of legal nurse consulting experience by the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board.