School of Nursing Graduate Level Programs

MSN: Forensic Track

Link to Graduate Catalog

Forensic nursing is the application of the science and art of nursing to both criminal and civil investigations and legal matters. Forensic nurses provide care to victims/perpetrators of trauma and/or death due to criminal acts or traumatic events. In this program students will acquire the in-depth knowledge and skill that interfaces nursing with the law, forensic science, law enforcement, mental health, and the health care and judicial systems.

Program of Study

The program is structured so that students will receive the core courses in the MSN: Specialized Population major. This allowed the student to gain a strong foundation in population health as well as theory and research. In addition the students will be required to take courses specifically related to the population of victims/perpetrators of crime, violence or traumatic events.

NUR 500 Professional Role Development for Population Health Nursing I
Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Focuses on giving voice to the role of a population health nurse expert beyond the parameters of current areas of advanced practice function. The emerging nursing role in population health is necessary for practice in today’s health care delivery system in which social, cultural, political, and economic forces interact with complex client systems. Students are supported to construct a new paradigm for nursing practice in order to articulate the role to health professionals, policy makers, community groups, and consumers.

NUR 501 Introduction to Population Health Nursing
Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Addresses the philosophy and framework for population health and the care of aggregates. Concepts of health, disease, health promotion, and health restoration are emphasized, along with knowledge of human and cultural diversity, factors influencing health and disease states, the ethics of care, and population as community. There is an emphasis on the need to collect explicit population data to progress systematically through the steps of health-promotion and program-planning processes. Introduces the Precede-Proceed Model; theories, concepts, and models of families; communication related to population health; epidemiology; public policy; and cost containment.

NUR 502 Theory Development in Nursing
Prerequisites: Graduate standing and B.S.N., or permission of instructor. Sets forth the expectation for using theory as a framework in graduate-level nursing practice. Nursing theories, models, and the stress framework are applied to population health.

NUR 503 Nursing Research Methods I
Prerequisites: Undergraduate or graduate-level statistics course and graduate standing, or permission of instructor. Focuses on critical analysis of scientific knowledge related to clinical problems. Study of the research process with emphasis on the logic and processes of inquiry, design, sampling, measurement, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of findings. Use of information systems, standardized databases, and statistics needed for population analysis is presented.

NUR 511 Introduction to Forensic Nursing
Focuses on a variety of models drawn from population health, mental health, holistic nursing practice, and crisis intervention theory, including crisis response training as developed by the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) to develop a theoretical framework for guiding forensic nursing practice. The course provides an overview of the stress framework and individual functioning for both the victim and the perpetrator, including spiritual and cultural perspectives.

NUR 512 Strategies for Population Health Assessment in Forensic Nursing
Focuses on the physical, psychological, and legal examination performed to identify, collect, and preserve evidence, identify physical and psychological trauma, and document injuries. Includes an overview of the interview/history, physical exam, evidence collection, and discharge process of patients experiencing acts of violence or traumatic incidences. Special attention is given to victims of domestic violence, abuse, and sexual assault.

NUR 601 Nursing Research Methods II
Prerequisite: NUR 503 or permission of instructor. Promotes research-based nursing practice in the care of populations. Focuses on methods of implementing research findings to solve identified clinical problems, and in developing questions appropriate for population-based research. Students gain skill in developing and evaluating evidenced-based practice guidelines for populations and in using research methods to evaluate outcomes.

NUR 602 Health Care Policy
Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. Models of health care policy are presented as well as principles for understanding behavior of complex health care, social organizations, community groups, and subcultures. Issues related to managed care, program planning, resource allocation, utilization and outcomes, and government and business influences on population health nursing practice are discussed. Application of ethical dimensions of health care policies to case studies and selected provider guidelines enables students to develop awareness, sensitivity, and a values framework to act ethically in policy decisions. An eight-week course.

NUR 607 Professional Role Development for Population Health Nursing II
Prerequisites: NUR 604 and NUR 605; co-requisite: NUR 606 or NUR 616. Culminating seminar that focuses on the emerging role of the population health nursing expert as it relates to nursing administration, direct practice, independent practice, consultation, public policy, community building, and nursing entrepreneurship. Graduates are prepared to provide leadership in the development, implementation, and evaluation of health care to populations, and to articulate the role to health professionals, policy makers, community groups, and consumers.

NUR 614 Nursing of Populations I (Forensics)
Prerequisite: NUR 512. Examines physiological, pharmacological, environmental, demographic, and educational factors that frame nursing interventions at the population level. Introduces the student to the crime scene and forensic science. Provides an overview of various scientific applications of chemistry, biology, physics, and geology in such areas as forensic pathology, psychology, odontology, anthropology, psychiatry, and engineering. The laboratory component may include experiences in areas that allow the student to have contact with victims or perpetrators involved in acts of violence or traumatic incidences such as correctional facilities, emergency and trauma centers, or rape crisis centers. In the laboratory component, students design research-based nursing interventions in relation to forensic nursing.

NUR 615 Nursing of Populations II (Forensics)
Prerequisite: NUR 614. A continuation of NUR 614 focusing on an intensive examination of laboratory testing and procedures related to forensic science. The Coroner’s Office and the State Crime Laboratory may be used as laboratory sites.

NUR 617 The Legal System
Prepares nurses to interface with the legal system. Provides an overview of the legal process, lawyers, and the forensic specialist. Special emphasis is on the process of trial preparation and the roles of witness preparation, including the presentation of evidence and expert testimony.