2012 Annual Report
The Leader in Forensic Nursing
In 2012 the International Association of Forensic Nurses (Forensic Nurses) zealously pursued its mission to provide leadership in forensic nursing practice by developing, promoting, and disseminating information internationally about forensic nursing science. At 3,000 members strong, representing 22 countries, our membership numbers remained solid and our members remained committed to our work. More than 294 members served as board or committee members: hundreds more volunteered their time, energy, and expertise by precepting new nurses, participating in their local chapters, and sharing their knowledge through the online member community.
In the Summer of 2012, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) invited Forensic Nurses to mentor health practitioners in Swaziland about providing post rape care for children and adolescents. The mission involved an eight-week in-country assignment in country during the months of September and October. For this special project, the Association selected two certified pediatric sexual assault nurse examiners from Colorado, Megan Lechner and Kim Nash, because of their current practice with children and abuse, and their competence as an existing team. Forensic nurses, especially sexual assault forensic nurses, are uniquely qualified to address the challenges and complexities of responding to adult and child victims of sexual assault. The Association worked closely with John Snow, Inc's AIDSTAR-One program to develop this innovative project. The clinical mentoring targeted the unique needs of each health clinic site regarding appropriate identification and response to child sexual assault and abuse.
On an organizational level, the Association undertook a review of its governance documents, specifically, the bylaws. After an extensive review in early Spring, legal counsel recommended that the Association draft a new set of bylaws while retaining most of the existing organizational structure. Over time, the numerous revisions of the bylaws had produced an odd patchwork with missing sections or references to items long removed. Regrettably, during the review process, communication with the Bylaws Committee became strained. Although the issues have since been rectified, the Board was left to develop the recommended changes, which it submitted to the voting membership to determine whether to adopt or reject. An impressive 92% of our voting membership endorsed passage.
As always, the highlight of our year was the opportunity to interact with our members in person at our 20th Annual Scientific Assembly in Puerto Rico. With 500 forensic nursing professionals choosing from more than 70 workshops, attendees relished the opportunity to learn from leaders in the field, share their own experiences, forge new professional connections, and reconnect with colleagues and friends.
Please take a moment to review our 2012 Annual Report, highlighting our other notable achievements.
2012 Annual Report
The International Association of Forensic Nurses (Forensic Nurses) is an international membership organization representing nearly 3000 forensic nurses and other professionals around the world who support and complement the work of forensic nursing.
Forensic Nurses establishes and improves standards of practice and fosters the growth and development of forensic nursing as an emerging area of nursing expertise. Forensic Nurses promotes the exchange of ideas and knowledge among its members and other professionals who are dedicated to developing forensic nursing to advance humanity.
To increase national visibility and monitor federal legislation affecting our members, the Association continued working with its Washington, DC -based lobbying firm. Advocacy efforts centered around the U.S. Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization, the Forensic Science and Standards bill, meeting with the Office on Violence Against Women, and responding to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on the proposed rules surrounding inpatient hospital services. The official legislative agenda remains unchanged and was reaffirmed at the end of the year.
Forensic Nurses Week : During the week of November 12-16, 2012, the Association celebrated Forensic Nurses Week with the theme Giving a Voice, Providing a Choice and issued a broad-scale press release to raise additional awareness. Our website recorded a 57% increase in new visitor traffic, registering 3,000 new visitors from 10 different countries.
The Association offered the SANE-A® and SANE-P® certification examinations twice (in May and October); 185 nurses, an 11% increase, proudly earned a new SANE certification. Additionally, 275 nurses renewed their certifications (a 60% renewal rate). Overall, more than 1400 nurses currently hold SANE certification.
To ensure that the certification examinations remain current and practice-based, the certification board hosted subject matter experts for a four-day Item Writing Workshop, which is now an annual Fall event.
Partnering with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the Association debuted at its 20th Annual Scientific Assembly the long-awaited Advanced Forensic Nursing--Board Certified credential through the portfolio method, the first portfolio credential offered by ANCC.
Education and Special Projects
In 2012, Forensic Nurses offered the opportunity to earn 37 nursing continuing education contact hours (CEs) through featured education events, including the 20th Annual Scientific Assembly, and online webinars such as Computer Forensics—eDiscovery and Fraud, Beyond SANE--Expanding Your Practice, Child Sexual Abuse, Ethical Communication, the SANE-A Prep Course, the SANE-P Prep Course, Straddle Injury vs. Sexual Assault, Suicide Investigation Methods, Technology and Stalking, and Myths of Virginity. The Association archived most of these events so forensic nurses may earn CEs by accessing this content at any time through the Online Learning Center.
Forensic Nurses launched the Web-Based SAFE Training Project, funded by the US Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. For this project, the Association developed a 15-week intensive online didactic SAFE curriculum, which was offered three times during the year free-of-charge to selected applicants. Training more than 250 healthcare providers, the course was followed by a two-day hands-on clinical skills workshop for all attendees. The course is now undergoing a planned program evaluation through Wayne State University. Once the grant concludes in early 2014, the Association will offer the online self-paced course to interested students, thereby increasing access to convenient, standardized, high-quality training.
Through the SAFEta: The Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Technical Assistance Project, the Association continued to provide education and technical assistance about the National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations: Adults and Adolescents. Funded by the US Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, the project exhibited at 6 conferences and provided 12 trainings to more than 2,400 people. The project website, safeta.org, fielded over 15,000 hits and the project director responded to more than 385 technical assistance requests by phone, email, or in person. Significantly, the project director was selected to serve as a member of the US Attorney General’s Tribal Protection Task Force and participated in a project providing guidance for administrators of prisons, jails, and community confinement facilities as they work to develop a sexual assault examination protocol.
Forensic Nurses, in partnership with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), launched the SANE Sustainability project, funded by OVW. In 2012, a curriculum was developed for a 6-week online course to assist SANE program managers with issues of program sustainability, including budgeting, staffing, collaboration, and capacity building. Additionally, work began to update the SANE Program Listing on the website, bringing the current list to more than 830 programs around the globe.
Through the American Nurses Foundation (ANF), a charitable and philanthropic arm of the American Nurses Association (ANA), the Association funded a $3500 research scholarship to support ANA’s work in promoting the welfare and well being of nurses and in advancing the nursing profession, thus enhancing the public’s health. Founded nearly 60 years ago, the ANF Research Grants Program encourages nurses in research career development. This year’s winners shared the $3500 award: Jessica Draughon for her work, entitled Sexual Assault and Protocol Adherence in Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (nPEP) for HIV and Angelia Trujillo for her work, entitled Perceptions and Practices Surrounding Interpersonal Violence: A Survey of Health Care Providers in Alaska.
Membership and Chapters
- For the first time in two years, overall membership increased, as did its member retention rate. Web traffic to the ForensicNurses.org website rose 9% and our Facebook fan base increased by 25%.
- Honored several members and other individuals through its Awards Program, including Sheila MacDonald (who received the coveted Virginia A. Lynch Pioneer Award), as well as Joyce Williams, Lisa Madigan, Janean Fossum, Linda Reimer, and Deborah Shelton.
- A rising number of members (exceeding 100) enjoyed significant savings by bundling their membership with other colleagues through their employer.
- Closed the year with 28 active chapters. Unfortunately, the Wyoming Chapter and the Alaska Chapter deactivated, but the Illinois State Chapter relaunched. The chapter officer training series in the Online Learning Center continues to provide an opportunity for chapter leaders and officers to enhance their skills and expertise.
Both members and staff continued to represent the Association on a number of advisory councils, panels, agencies, committees, and other high profile initiatives within the nursing and forensic communities. Forensic Nurses also sought to develop formal partnerships with its national and international colleagues. These partnerships included:
The Association was an active a member of several coalitions and collaborations, including:
Publications and Products
- Supported the dissemination of the Atlas of Sexual Violence published by Elsevier and edited by Tara Henry, the Chair of the Commission for Forensic Nursing Certification, selling more than 500 copies in its first year.
- On The Edge, the long-standing newsletter, which was converted to an e-newsletter in 2007, was retired in the Fall of 2012. We again thank Janean Fossum and her editorial team—Barbara Girardin, Linda Ledray, Nancy Cabelus, Susan McDonald, Roger Canaff, and Diana Faugno—for their work on this ground-breaking publication.
- 2012 proved to be an excellent year for the Journal of Forensic Nursing® (JFN) as it sought a new publisher and, in June of 2012, selected Lippincott Wilkins and Williams (LWW) for a 2013-2017 partnership. Stewarded by Editor-in-Chief Cindy Peternelj-Taylor, the JFN editorial team and LWW worked tirelessly to transition the JFN, its processes, and its website for a successful launch on January 2, 2013. The new journal format promised a four-color publication with a full internal and cover redesign and an iPad application that was introduced in 2013. With this collaboration, members benefit from easy access to Nursing Center, an online learning system that offers CEs for nurses through content that appears in every issue of the JFN and many other LWW publications.