Forensic Nursing Research: The Basics Explained

Karin A. Wickwire, Author Affiliations:UPMC Hamot.
Julie L. Valentine, Brigham Young University College of Nursing.
Nancy Downing, Center of Excellence in Forensic Nursing, Texas A&M University.
Courtney Bagents Cochran, School of Nursing, College of Nursing & Health Sciences, Auburn University at Montgomery.
Stacy Drake, College of Nursing, Texas A&M University.
L Kathleen Sekula, Forensic Graduate Programs, School of Nursing, Duquesne University.
Sara Jennings, International Association of Forensic Nurses.


As a growing profession, forensic nursing requires research to establish best practice guidelines leading to evidence-based practice. In addition, forensic nursing quality improvement projects are necessary to evaluate and improve practices and policies. The purpose of this article is to provide step-by-step guidelines on research and quality improvement projects to encourage all forensic nurses to actively contribute to and utilize research in practice. Research will expand our forensic nursing science and knowledge base. Ultimately, forensic nursing research will benefit our patients and communities by establishing enhanced, evidence-based care.