Forensic nursing is a continuously developing and growing branch of nursing and health care. It could be considered a branch of the judicial system as well since it tackles evidence collection, which is critical to specific criminal cases. Associations that help forensic nurses like the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) help promote the practice and assist their members through the publication of forensic nursing journals.
There is one official journal of the IAFN, which it calls Journal of Forensic Nursing. This comes out on a quarterly basis and is distributed among the members of the association.
The main goal of this journal is to help in the advancement of the science of forensic nursing by sharing information about so many cases related to forensics that have been handled by experienced forensic professionals. This journal includes manuscripts that serve as a rich source of knowledge for beginners or even those who have already started their careers.
These manuscripts are submitted by the members and extensively reviewed by the board before they get published. This is to make sure that the information will truly benefit the members who will read them and refer to them when they need to. The requirement for a manuscript to see publication is for it to be original and has never been published yet.
There are also certain guidelines to follow for those who wish to have their work included in the journal. All the details including the photographs, tables, and references should strictly conform to the standards set by the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
Forensic nursing, which has gained momentum in 1992, is the practice of applying nursing science to legal proceedings. Forensic nurses provide health care services directly to patients who are victims of violent crimes. They also assist people in treating trauma and in handling death, or abuse of any kind.
Forensic nurses deal with the following cases:
- Domestic violence
- Sexual assault
- Abuse or neglect of child or elderly
- Psychological abuse
- Human trafficking
- Occult- or religious-related violence
- Forensic mental or psychiatric health
- Nursing in correctional establishments
- Legal nurse consultations
- Automobile or pedestrian accidents
- Suicide attempt
- Work-related injuries
- Administration of patient care
- Service accidents/injuries
- Check for environmental hazards
- Detect drug or alcohol abuse
- Check illegal abortion
- Tissue and organ donations or charity
- Homicide cases
- Suicide cases
- Suspicious deaths
IAFN and their plans
Since IAFN is an international organization, members to this association are scattered around the world. The organization doesn’t only include forensic nurses as members, but also other professionals who provide support and complement the work of the forensic nurses.
The organization has initiated the journals to reach its goal of disseminating information about the science and its growing number of practitioners. As the leader in the development of forensic nursing, the IAFN holds the following goals close to their principles:
- Try to prevent violence as much as possible by helping solve crimes faster
- Make improvements on the current standards in terms of evidence collection and forensic nursing practice per se
- Promote sharing of information within the professional circle to help each other grown in the practice
- Establish ethics in the practice of forensic nursing
- Educate the up and coming forensic nurses
These goals are all aligned in the forensic nursing journals that are being published to develop forensic nursing in the United States as well as in other countries around the world.