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FNN President's Corner

Welcome to the President's Corner


Kimberly Womack, DHSc, ARNP-BC, SANE-A, CEN 

August Update

 

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that the Association's Board of Directors has approved recent updates to the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Education Guidelines. The Guidelines have not substantively changed, but rather, certain sections have been clarified regarding course hours, and didactic versus clinical content. The updates are listed in detail on the website:  https://iafn.site-ym.com/?2015EdGuidelines

Perhaps some background might help. In the course of conducting random audits on the SANE certification exam applications, the Commission for Forensic Nursing Certification (CFNC) noted that some confusion may have existed regarding certain sections of the Guidelines. The CFNC requested that the Education Department address this issue. In response, the Education Department has updated certain sections of the SANE Education Guidelines to clarify the existing content. Printed copies of the updated Guidelines will be available through the store later this year; however, complimentary, downloadable copies can be found at https://iafn.site-ym.com/?2015EdGuidelines

SANE trainings are essential to the nurses they serve. The Association's Board and staff seek to ensure that every nurse who spends the time, effort, and money to attend a SANE training is eligible to sit for the certification exam should he or she so choose. To that end, the Board is considering a variety of solutions (e.g., establishing a process by which to "approve" SANE trainings, etc.). Through the Education Department, the Association is working closely with trainers and organizations that have provided SANE courses that do not meet the Education Guidelines (e.g., meeting with them, planning to develop and offer an instructional webinar, etc.), and, where practicable, offering nurses who have found themselves in this situation complementary online SANE training.

 

Moving forward, I strongly encourage instructors as well as potential SANEs to read the Guidelines thoroughly.

Should you have any questions regarding the SANE Education Guidelines, please contact Jen Pierce-Weeks, Director of Education here

Should you have any questions regarding certification, please contact Kathleen Maguire, Director of Certification here

Should you have any other questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Sincerely,

Kimberly Womack, DHSc, ARNP-BC, SANE-A, CEN

 


 

 

April 2015 Update


Dear Members,

We are pleased to share highlights from this past month as it relates to your Association's government affairs and educational activities.

The Government Affairs Committee, chaired by Lovette Robinson co-hosted with the Board the 3rd annual Lobby Day on Capitol Hill.  Patrick Cooney of the Federal Group and IAFN's retained lobbyist spoke to us and the staff about upcoming U.S. legislation and funding priorities affecting our members, nurses, forensic scientists and anti-violence organizations.

We were there to advocate and promote forensic nursing.  Members of the Board and Committee had meetings with their legislative representatives and shared our support of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (HR 1310), the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, level funding for Title VIII Nursing Education funding and NINR for nursing research and finally, support for funding the Violence Against Women Act. We were glued to our seats watching the debate on the Anti-Human Trafficking bill and will watch this closely as well.

Additionally, some members of the Board met with the Elder Justice Coalition to discuss having IAFN become a member of the coalition and to look at the reauthorization of the Elder Justice Act.  Earlier in the month, the Board and staff worked with the Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations and lent our support to the Rapid DNA Act of 2015 (HR 32O) and for funding the Paul Coverdell National Forensic Science Grant Program at its authorized level of $35 million for FY16.  IAFN has formally requested, with the support of the Consortium of Forensic Sciences that NIST create a subcommittee in the OSAC structure for the living forensics...that could represent so many of our members!

Elected leaders need to see a wide range of support from forensic nurses across the globe.  We support and encourage you to make appointments and speak to your elected officials.  Let them know about forensic nursing, offer to give them a tour of your physical facility, and share the IAFN Legislative Briefs with them found here:  http://www.forensicnurses.org/?page=GovernmentAffairs

The Board of Directors also met for its annual strategic session and our conversation focused on communication between and among the Board, member, staff and the public.  We remain committed to clear, responsive and transparent communication about association’s activities and serving our members.
Earlier this month, IAFN co-sponsored the 3-day Elder Abuse Training course in Covington, LA with the St. Tammany SALT council.   Trisha Sheridan, a member, presented the full course with assistance from a local prosecutor and another IAFN member, Ginesse Barrett.  The course had 25 attendees, excellent reviews and it inspired attendees to incorporate more education on how to identify and care for older adults at risk.  Thank you to Trisha and the task force assembled last fall that has been updating the Elder Abuse Training for all IAFN members to benefit from and use in their educational programs.

As President and Chief Executive Officer we work together to ensure the strategic plan, established by the board of directors, is executed to safeguard the continued success of this organization.

In continued partnership…Leadership, Care, Expertise
Sincerely,
Kimberly Womack
President
and
Carey Goryl
Chief Executive Officer
 

 

March 2015 Greetings from your President Kimberly Womack.

I want to update you on the exciting things your IAFN members and the board of directors are doing on your behalf.
 

IAFN members are looking forward to its legislative conference that will occur on March 17
-18, 2015.  In 2014 IAFN was actively advocating for training standards across the U.S. armed forces in relating to sexual assault forensic examiners/sexual assault nurse examiners. Thanks to efforts of Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and others this issue was resolved in the National Defense Authorization Act.  

For 2015, IAFN is looking to engage the Congress on issues relating to funding for nursing training and research; funding for important programs within the Department of Justice to implement the Violence Against Women Act; policy relating to sexual assault on college campuses; and the need to reauthorize elder justice programs within the Older Americans Act.

On February 27, 2015, IAFN wrote to the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Programs Office requesting creation of a Scientific Area Subcommittee under the Scientific Area Committee (SAC) Crime Scene and Death Investigation for forensic nursing and other healthcare providers who interface with victims called Forensic Healthcare Providers. IAFN believes forensic nurses play a key role in the collection of evidence from victims of sexual assault or domestic violence incidents.  The timely and proper collection of evidence by forensic nurses is vitally important and has downstream effects in the forensic analysis of evidence and its presentation in the courtroom.

With our current efforts to support the practice of nursing and forensic nursing, I  have given approval to add IAFN's name to the list of signatories in support of designating the Chief Nurse Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service as the National Nurse for Public Health.

On January 14, 2015, H.R. 379, The National Nurse Act of 2015 was introduced by Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)  and Peter King (R-NY).  The bill has garnered strong bipartisan support in the past and that is expected to continue.  The American Nurses Association (ANA) and other major nursing organizations have already expressed their support. (Changes to the previous bill were made that were mutually agreed upon by the ANA and the National Nursing Network Organization).
 
The National Nurse Act of 2015 provides an innovative, pragmatic, and cost effective solution and one that will help to heighten awareness of components outlined in the National Prevention Strategy.  Briefly, this bill designates the Chief Nurse Officer (CNO) of the US Public Health Service to be uniquely known as the National Nurse for Public Health. The bill language also elevates this nurse in rank with the other uniformed services Nurse Corps Chiefs. This position will focus on the critical work needed to address national priorities of health promotion and disease prevention.  Major efforts will be directed at improving health literacy and decreasing health disparities in America, using our most trusted healthcare professionals, our nation's nurses.

Congratulations to President-elect Dee Krebs who has been selected as a 2015 Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Thank you to all of the IAFN members who have offered to serve on our established committees, and our newly formed Suspect Exam and Strangulation Task Forces. Congratulations to all the new Chairs.
You have all been selected for your leadership, dedication and expertise.

Thank you to all our forensic nurses serving their communities as sexual assault nurse examiners, death investigators, legal nurse consultants, researchers and everyone who is making a difference one patient at a time, because you are forensic nurses!

It has been wonderful connecting with members daily and I look forward to hearing from you!

My very best regards,

Kimberly Womack

IAFN President, 2015

 

January 2015
 

Dear Members,  

I would like to extend a Happy New Year to all IAFN members and Staff as your new president for 2015.

As I said at the conference in Phoenix my vision is to continue to build relationships and partnerships on a global platform. The IAFN has stood the test of time because of our relationships.

It was your vision, the members, and the relationships to each other, connecting ideas and concepts that has laid the solid foundation of the IAFN today. It was our past presidents, board of directors and IAFN staff that we have to thank for setting the cornerstone of this association.

We must continue to remember what we have learned from the past, be actively engaged in what is happening today, and look to the  continued advancement of forensic nursing through research, education and partnerships.

When I first joined the IAFN more than 7 years ago, never would I imagined myself your president.

My first encounter with the IAFN was Dr. Pat Speck.  I did not meet her at a conference or in school.  I was introduced to her from the head of the hospital chaplains who knew we were trying to put together a SANE program at our hospital.  He gave me her phone number, and Pat and I met for coffee.  Relationships….Pat furthered our first meeting by sending me information about the IAFN and the next conference in Vancouver….I went by myself, so I thought….I took a dinner cruise on a paddle boat and instantly had met a table of new forensic nursing friends. C.S. Lewis said “friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” 

Not everyone who is a leader has a title! But you are all leaders who are ambassadors of forensic nursing every time you step out of your door or answer an email!!

I am committed to this membership.  I am committed to the present and the future of forensic nursing.

It is my personal hope to continue building relationships with those of you I already know, but more importantly starting relationships with those I don’t.  My door is open, in person or virtually.

I text, email and my cell phone is always on….I look forward to connecting with you.

I wish you the best of everything this 2015!

Respectfully,

Kimberly Womack

IAFN President, 2015

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