The field of forensic nursing has rapidly advanced throughout the past decades. Exciting new findings in forensic science such as the neurobiology of trauma have influenced our field, but as always, it is difficult for practitioners to find, consume, evaluate, and thoughtfully apply all of the new developments. It is sometimes tempting for clinicians to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" and rush to change their practice as a new development is trumpeted in the popular press—before the research has been evaluated and put within the context of prior findings and then with a consensus of experts applied into practice.
A Practical Guide to Forensic Nursing: Incorporating Forensic Principles Into Nursing Practice is a groundbreaking book because of its strong evidence base that is carefully evaluated and contextualized—and made understandable and actually usable by the leading practicing forensic nurses in the field. Many are researchers themselves, some currently conducting "cutting edge" forensic nursing research about which they write eloquently but in a totally understandable and applicable way. Others are more immersed in practice or forensic nursing education, but all have training in translational research and have clearly maintained an active research as well as practice interest—resulting in evidence that is current and practice guidelines that are appropriate for today's and tomorrow's practitioners.
The chapters are short, with definitions provided, and combine a strong blend of science and legal implications. In addition to research evidence, theoretical concepts are presented in usable, practical fashion. Part of the forensic nurse's job in any setting is explaining evidence to nonscientists, and this book is incredibly helpful in its clarity in presenting the scientific basis of evidence.
Angela Amar and Kathleen Sekula, two of the most outstanding leaders in forensic nursing, have provided an incredible resource to forensic nursing educators teaching at all levels as well as to current practitioners. Publication of this book advances the exciting potential of forensic nursing in the future for helping victims obtain justice and gain understanding of and appropriate treatment for the holistic nature of their responses to trauma. It also advances the ability of forensic nurses to be an integral and highly respected part of the interdisciplinary community of scholars and clinicians working toward the prevention of violence.
-Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN
Anna D. Wolf Endowed Chair and Professor
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing