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Course Detail

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Course # 37103 • Forensic Nursing: An Overview


Nurses working in emergency centers often care for victims of intentional harm, criminal neglect, and accidents arising from illegal activities. These include patients who have been shot, stabbed, or otherwise assaulted with or without weapons; sexually assaulted or abused; injured in or by a motor vehicle; and victims of child abuse. When it is suspected or reported that a crime has been committed, a thorough physical examination, collection of trace evidence, and diligent documentation of all marks and injuries must be made without causing further physical or psychological harm to the patient. Because prosecution rates of various crimes are not as high as they should ideally be (many times due to insufficient or improperly collected evidence), it is hoped that this course may help to eliminate errors on the medical/forensic side of an investigation.

Education Category: Ethics - Human Rights

Release Date: 02/01/2021

Expiration Date: 01/31/2024


This course is designed for all nurses involved in the assessment and care victims, including sexual assault nurse examiners and other forensic nursing specialists.


In support of improving patient care, NetCE is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team. NetCE is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). NetCE complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognized internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices. As a result of this accreditation, NetCE is authorized to issue the IACET CEU.

Designations of Credit

NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 2 ANCC contact hour(s). NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 2.4 hours for Alabama nurses. AACN Synergy CERP Category A. NetCE is authorized by IACET to offer 0.2 CEU(s) for this program.

Individual State Nursing Approvals

In addition to states that accept ANCC, NetCE is approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by: Alabama, Provider #ABNP0353, (valid through July 29,2025); Arkansas, Provider #50-2405; California, BRN Provider #CEP9784; California, LVN Provider #V10662; California, PT Provider #V10842; District of Columbia, Provider #50-2405; Florida, Provider #50-2405; Georgia, Provider #50-2405; Kentucky, Provider #7-0054 through 12/31/2023; South Carolina, Provider #50-2405; West Virginia RN and APRN, Provider #50-2405.

Special Approvals

This course is designed to fulfill the Texas requirement for 2 hours of continuing nursing education in the area of forensic evidence collection.

Course Objective

Forensic nurses are an important link between the medical and legal worlds. The purpose of this course is to inform nursing professionals about forensic evidence collection and documentation, being mindful of preserving evidence while managing critically injured patients, and making referrals to or requesting the assistance of forensic specialists.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Outline key points related to forensic evidence preservation.
  2. Discuss best practices for the physical examination and interview of the forensic patient.
  3. Apply standards for the collection and documentation of forensic evidence.


Michelle Booth, RN, BSN, received her Bachelor's degree in nursing from San Diego State University in 2005. Since then, she has worked primarily in emergency and critical care settings, during which time she gained an appreciation of the importance of forensic evidence collection and supportive care of assault victims. She currently works as an emergency department nurse in Santa Clara, California.

Faculty Disclosure

Contributing faculty, Michelle Booth, RN, BSN, has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Division Planner

Jane C. Norman, RN, MSN, CNE, PhD

Division Planner Disclosure

The division planner has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

About the Sponsor

The purpose of NetCE is to provide challenging curricula to assist healthcare professionals to raise their levels of expertise while fulfilling their continuing education requirements, thereby improving the quality of healthcare.

Our contributing faculty members have taken care to ensure that the information and recommendations are accurate and compatible with the standards generally accepted at the time of publication. The publisher disclaims any liability, loss or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents. Participants are cautioned about the potential risk of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into practice.

Disclosure Statement

It is the policy of NetCE not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

Technical Requirements

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