Introduction to the New OSAC Forensic Nursing Subcommittee: Background and Mission

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45 Minutes

Originally Aired
April 12, 2023

Joyce Williams
Joyce Williams, DNP, RN, FAAFS, FAAN
Professor, Adjunct
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Nancy Downing, PhD, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, FAAN
Associate Professor

Forensic nursing has become the standard in the health care response to victims of violence. To ensure quality, reliability, efficiency, and consistency among practitioners, development of forensic nursing standards is essential. The 2009 National Research Council Report, Strengthening Forensic Science: A Path Forward, critiqued the forensic science community and emphasized need for enforceable standards and promotion of best practices. As the visibility of forensic nursing has grown, The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC) deemed it critical to create a Forensic Nursing Subcommittee (FNSC). Created in 2021, the purpose of the FNSC is to propose high-quality, technically sound standards that define minimum requirements, best practices, and evidence-based protocols, and provide guidance to ensure reliable and reproducible outcomes. This presentation will briefly review the histories of forensic science and forensic nursing, describe the FNSC composition and OSAC standards development processes, and present progress to date on FNSC standard development and identification of research gaps.


As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to:

  • Justify the development of forensic science standards.
  • Prioritize areas for improvement in health care delivery in the response to victims.
  • Propose best practice guidance to practitioners who serve victims of violence.
  • Discuss potential impacts on forensic nursing science and practice.


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