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Forensic Nurses Week
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Forensic Nurses Week: November 7-11, 2016

Forensic Nurses Week is organized by the International Association of Forensic Nurses, a nursing association representing more than 3,600 registered nurses, death investigators, other forensic medical professionals, correctional officers, and law enforcement in over 24 countries. To celebrate, these professionals will raise awareness in their communities by displaying posters in their facilities, educating their colleagues about the practice, and wearing lilac—the designated color of forensic nursing.


The 2016 Forensic Nurse Week Planning Guide

Check out all of the AWESOME resources available to help you celebrate.

  • Download one of our colorful banners to post on your website.
  • Send a thank-you note to a forensic nurse or how about a certificate of appreciation for sharing their compassion.
  • You can contact the media with our great Press Release (Coming Soon)
  • Or, email your local representative to bring awareness to the specialty.

    All of this and more are now available in the 2016 Planning Guide

Forensic Nursing Excellence

Recently we sent out a call to members to recognize their peers. This Peer Recognition program honors those forensic nurses that are active members of the Association. Many of whom help by providing preventive services, policy development, influencing legislation, and collaborating with other healthcare, social services, and criminal justice system professionals to enhance the care of their patients.

Members of the International Association of Forensic Nurses (Association) witness their colleagues perform exceptional community outreach. We want to recognize these outstanding forensic nurses for bringing awareness to the specialty and compassion to their patients.


Help us recognize these outstanding forensic nurses who have been recognized by their peers in 2016:

Alisha Blazevic | Andrew Mahoney | Christi LaPrairie | Cynthia Wathen  |  Donna King | Gloria DiSalvatore | Heather Crites | Heidi Breese | Holly Renz | Jaclyn Jackson | Jane Rutty | Jennifer Breads | Jessica Albers | Kathleen Houston | Kathryn Keaton | Kaylin Dawson | Lt. Ada Dee | Mary Cole | Misty Hunter | Patty Metzler |Shayne Wheeler | Stephanie Langley | Teresa Ross | Tess Cartensen | Zenaide Medeiros |

About Forensic Nursing:

Forensic Nursing, as outlined in the Forensic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, is the practice of nursing globally when health and legal systems intersect.

Why is Forensic Nursing Important?

Victims of violence and abuse require care from a health professional who is trained to treat the trauma associated with the wrong that has been done to them—be it sexual assault, intimate partner violence, neglect, or other forms of intentional injury. Forensic nurses are also a critical resource for anti-violence efforts. They collect evidence and give testimony that can be used in a court of law to apprehend or prosecute perpetrators who commit violent and abusive acts.

By hiring and training Forensic Nurses, communities supply themselves with a vital link to the administration of justice.


"Forensic Nurses play an integral role in bridging the gap between law and medicine. They should be in each and every emergency room"

Joseph Biden, Vice President, United States
from Forensic Nursing: a Handbook for Practice 

What is a Forensic Nurse?

A forensic nurse is a nurse who provides specialized care for patients who are victims and/or perpetrators of trauma (both intentional and unintentional) Forensic Nurses are NURSES first and foremost. However, the specialized role of forensic nurses goes far beyond medical care; forensic nurses also have a specialized knowledge of the legal system and skills in injury identification, evaluation and documentation.  After attending to a patient’s immediate medical needs, a forensic nurse often collects evidence, provides medical testimony in court, and consults with legal authorities. 

Who can become a forensic nurse?

Since forensic nursing is a nursing specialty, a person must first become a nurse before becoming a forensic nurse. Learn more about becoming a forensic nurse.

Are there different types of forensic nurses?

Forensic nurses work in a variety of fields, including sexual assault (as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners or SANEs), domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, elder mistreatment, death investigation, corrections, and in the aftermath of mass disasters.  

Where do forensic nurses practice?

In the United States, forensic nurses most frequently work in hospitals, community anti-violence programs, coroner’s and medical examiners offices, corrections institutions and psychiatric hospitals.  Forensic nurses may also be called on in mass disasters or community crisis situations.    


2016 Press Releases: coming soon

Official Press Release (International) - .PDF
For general use in sending to local, national, and international publications.

Official Press Release (Individual) - .DOC
For use in honoring nurses in your community. Enter nurse's name and community.

Forensic Nurses on YouTube

Have you subscribed to the Forensic Nurses YouTube Channel? Check out our candid and poignant videos. Learn more about forensic nursing and share the videos with your colleagues or community leaders. Any way you share promotes awareness and attention to the important patient care that forensic nurses provide.

During Forensic Nurses Week, visit our channel and share the videos with your peers, students, and your hospital and facility administrators. Let your voice be heard. Let your compassion show.

Image of Forensic Nursing Video


Forensic Nurses Week Resources:

Post the image on your website, blog, or social media profile to raise awareness and show support. Download Web-ready JPG 
Image of Forensic Nursing Tee-shirts Check out all the new items available just in time for Forensic Nurses Week! 

Send an email to your colleagues to tell them about Forensic Nurses Week. It's so easy! Just copy and paste this sample text into an email.

Contact your Policy Maker and tell them that Forensic Nurses Week is important to you--and how important forensic nursing is to patients. Learn how to contact your Policy Makers

Articles of Interest: 

Share Your Ideas

Let us know how you celebrate Forensic Nurses Week. We want to share your ideas, suggestions, videos, and photos with other Association members on Facebook and on the IAFN website.


Have suggestions for future Forensic Nurses Week themes and activities? Email your information and ideas to


Join us on Facebook for Forensic Nurses Week! Become a fan of our page and share your stories, pictures, or videos. Follow the conversation on Twitter at #FNWEEK and join our celebration of you!

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