Forensic nursing

Vishnu Renjith, S. Nikitha, Anice George, Vithoba Mhalkar, Nevil Johnson Raju

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Dynamic and complex nature of health care for individuals and communities has led to a reform in the health care scenario and forensic nursing has emerged as a part of it. Forensic Nursing is evolving and is still in an infancy stage of development. The title “Forensic Nurse” originated in the year 1992 at a convention for sexual assault nurses in St. Paul, Minnesota when a small group of about 70 nurses met at its first national convention. The International Association of Forensic Nurses was formulated soon after the convention. American Nurses Association (ANA) officially accepted Forensic Nursing as a specialty in the year 1995. Forensic nursing is one among the latest branches of forensic sciences. ANA defines Forensic Nursing as “application of forensic science combined with the biopsychosocial education of the registered nurse, in the scientific investigation, evidence collection and preservation, analysis, prevention and treatment of trauma and or death related to the medico-legal issue.” The environment of practice of forensic nursing includes clinical forensic nursing settings and correctional forensic nursing settings. The integrated practice model for forensic nursing was developed by Virginia Lynch. This model emphasizes that justice is served when the truth is identified, verified and demonstrated. Forensic nurses work in a variety of forensic settings and care for individuals who are victims from the acts of violence, exploitation, abuse, negligence or mistreatment. Based on the areas of practice, forensic nursing is broadly classified into four specialties as Clinical Forensic Nursing, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, Forensic Psychiatric Nursing and Correctional/ Institutional Forensic nursing. There is a huge scope for forensic nursing in India. Forensic nurses can play a crucial role in fields of; crime scene investigation, forensic pathology, forensic psychiatry, forensic traumatology, forensic toxicology, death investigation & correctional settings. Forensic nursing education needs to be strengthened in the country as there is a wide scope for this specialty. It helps in the delivery of high-quality nursing care services to sufferers as well as perpetrators of crime. It helps to bridge the gap between the legal and health systems. Forensic nurse examinations are gaining recognition in the court system as reliable sources of evidence which in turn leads to higher conviction rates & fewer crime scene errors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-162
Number of pages4
JournalIndian Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Law


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