Forensics for Nursing

NURS 4309

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The term “forensic nursing” may conjure images of nurses tending to lifeless bodies, but that’s dead wrong. As students enrolled in Clinical Assistant Professor Nancy Roper Willson’s Forensics for Nursing course soon discover, the emerging field refers to the interplay of the law and nursing. Throughout the popular summertime elective, which is conducted mostly online, students cover topics like nurses who kill, nurses in the courtroom (as expert witnesses), prescription drug abuse, and Texas evidence collection protocol. One key element in teaching forensics to nurses is to equip them with a heightened skepticism. “It helps nurses recognize a situation as suspicious, one that otherwise may go undetected,” says Dr. Willson, who is also an attorney and UT Arlington alumna. “The nurse would then assure that further investigation is conducted by the appropriate person.” At the conclusion of the course, students present reports on topics ranging from “The History of Bite Mark Evidence in Court” to “The Signs of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome vs. Infanticide.”

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