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Membership in the Forensic Nursing Science Section

Forensic Nursing Science Section members represent the forensic specialist in nursing science, combining the principles and philosophies of the traditional forensic sciences and those of contemporary nursing in the clinical investigation of crime-related trauma, liability issues, and medical deaths. Forensic nursing is active in an extensive range of subspecialties, including pediatric and adult sexual assault, psychiatric mental health, nursing jurisprudence, death investigation, intimate partner violence, child and elder abuse, human trafficking, refugee health, and other areas where forensic assessments are analyzed, including genocide, torture, and mass disaster response. Forensic nurses apply scientific expertise, technical assistance, medicolegal education, and research pertaining to the consequences of human violence and social justice. This specialized nursing role is a fully designated, evidenced-based practice that recognizes human violence through state-of-the-art scientific knowledge, pertinent issues of law, and desecrated human rights while simultaneously applying an investigative and interpretative search for the truth.

Dr. Amy Carney Introduces the Forensic Nursing Science Section

Dr. Amy Carney, Professor of Nursing: Forensic Specialist , at California State University San Marcos introduces the newest section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Forensic Nurses have long been a part of the General Section at AAFS, until they officially established the Forensic Nursing Science Section at the 2022 AAFS Annual Conference in Seattle, Washington.

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My membership in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences has been intellectually stimulating, inspirational, and motivating. It has been exceptionally educational in areas of science that have enhanced my understanding of how the forensic sciences impact life and death. It has allowed me to participate in vast aspects of knowledge I previously didn't know existed, yet relates to every pertinent component of health and justice.

The Academy has provided me with an opportunity to meet and associate with members of the various disciplines in other sections who have influenced my perspectives and comprehension of the forensic sciences. I have been privileged to work with forensic colleagues who have served as examples in professionalism, ethics, academics, and to participate in the global forensic sciences in 37 different countries. This privilege has guided my practice throughout the last 40 years and has evolved into the Academy's 12th section as the Forensic Nursing Science Section in 2022.

- Virginia Lynch, MSN, RN
Fulbright Scholar to India | Retired Fellow
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Who should apply to the Forensic Nursing Science Section?

Experienced nursing professionals interested in expanding their current role beyond the recognized boundaries of clinical practice may wish to join the Forensic Nursing Science Section and explore the extensive world of forensic health science.

Before you apply...

The application system was not ready to launch into the new online portal for the 2023 review year, therefore you will need to submit an application (new, upgrade or promotion) through your old online portal. Since the old online portal is no longer supported, we are unable to add the new Forensic Nursing Science section as an option to choose a section. When submitting an application, please  choose the General Section and add in the Additional Information section "Forensic Nursing" and your application will be changed accordingly.

Section Requirements

Entry Level Categories

Apply

Student Affiliate

Academy Requirements

Both at the time of application and at the time the application is being considered for approval, an applicant for Student Affiliate status must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program that would support a forensic science career accepted by the section to which application is being made.  Each Student Affiliate must certify eligibility annually with the AAFS.

Student Affiliate status may be maintained for two consecutive calendar years beginning at the end of the calendar year within which graduation occurs. During the two-year period, once employment in a forensic discipline recognized by a section of the AAFS is attained, Student Affiliates will be required to upgrade their membership to Trainee Affiliate or Associate Member.

Section Requirements

  1. AAFS Basic Requirements for Student Affiliate must be fulfilled; and
  2. Applicants must provide one (1) letter of reference from their nursing or academic advisor, program director, or department chair indicating that the applicant is enrolled in a program relevant to the forensic sciences.

Trainee Affiliate

Academy Requirements

Trainee Affiliate status is limited to persons who have completed the educational requirements, but not the experience requirements for Associate Member in the section to which application is being made. Both at the time of application and at the time the application is being considered for approval, applicants for Trainee Affiliate status must be actively working toward completion of the experience requirements by participating in a training program or employment that supports a forensic science career accepted by the section. Each Trainee Affiliate must certify eligibility annually.

Section Requirements

  1. AAFS Basic Requirements for Trainee Affiliate must be fulfilled; and
  2. Applicants must provide one (1) letter of reference from their immediate supervisor indicating that the applicant is working in a forensic program relevant to the section's area of interest.

Associate Member

Academy Requirements

Academy membership shall be available only to those persons of professional competence, integrity, and good moral character:

  1. who are actively engaged in the field of forensics sciences and who have made some significant contribution to the literature of forensic sciences, or
  2. who have advanced the cause of forensic science in some other significant manner, and
  3. who satisfy the requirements for membership of the section applied to or recommended for, and
  4. who have earned a baccalaureate or higher academic degree from a U.S. college or university accredited by one of the regional accrediting bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the United States Department of Education, or from a non-U.S. college or university bearing equivalent accreditation.

 

Section Requirements

  1. AAFS Basic Requirements for Associate Member must be fulfilled; and
  2. Applicant must be a Registered Nurse with a baccalaureate degree and have five (5) years of experience in one of the forensic sciences within the scope of coverage acceptable to the section, or a master's degree and four (4) years of similar experience, or a doctorate degree and three (3) years of similar experience. NOTE: Past experience is counted if: (a) related to current forensic discipline field, and (b) was not required to obtain educational degree; and
  3. Demonstrate current involvement in the forensic discipline for which applying; and submit for inspection a complete curriculum vitae indicative of active engagement, publication, pursuit of a career, or other contribution to the application of nursing to forensic science; and
  4. Provide two (2) letters of reference. One (1) reference must be from a full Member, Fellow, Retired Member, or Retired Fellow of the Forensic Nursing Science Section. The other reference may be from an AAFS member, or from someone active in the forensic sciences. References must be able to comment knowledgeably on the applicant's qualifications and must address the candidate's aptitude in and contributions to forensic nursing.
Section Requirements

Promotion Requirements

Apply
WHILE SERVING AS AN ASSOCIATE MEMBER

To Member

Academy Requirements

The criteria for promotion are applicable to all members seeking promotion to Member or to Fellow. Applications must be received and completed by October 1 to be considered for approval at the AAFS annual conference.

The criteria for original membership, as stated in the bylaws for the AAFS Basic Requirements, still apply to promotions:

Membership shall be available only to those persons of professional competence, integrity, and good moral character:

  1. Who are actively engaged in the field of forensic sciences and who have made some significant contribution to the literature of forensic science, or
  2. Who have advanced the cause of forensic science in some other significant manner; and
  3. Who satisfy the requirements for membership of the section applied to or recommended for; and
  4. Who have earned a baccalaureate or higher academic degree from a U.S. college or university accredited by one of the regional accrediting bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the United States Department of Education, or from a non-U.S. college or university bearing equivalent accreditation.

 In addition, the following criteria for service to the AAFS and to forensic science in general are used:

  1. Service to the AAFS. This includes attendance at the annual conferences and participation in the program. Attendance at a minimum of one (1) conference is required for advancement from Associate Member to Member and one additional conference for advancement from Member to Fellow. However, if exigencies such as workload requirements, finances, or ill health preclude such attendance, this will be taken into consideration. It is AAFS policy that members who exhibit at the annual conference must pay the conference registration fee, if the exhibitor wishes to receive continuing education credit or count the conference attendance toward fulfilling a requirement for membership promotion.
  2. Service in the general area of forensic sciences. This is intended to recognize the individual who performs outstanding service in the execution of his/her regular responsibilities but who, in so doing, is unable to excel in other endeavors.
  3. Service in the area of forensic science research. Any contribution which the individual has made since his/her admission to the AAFS, or latest advancement will be given consideration.
  4. Service in the area of forensic science education or training. Any effort (either by formal or informal curricula) to disseminate the scientific information which the individual has acquired throughout his/her career will be considered.

 

Section Requirements

  1. Fulfill the AAFS Basic Requirements for Promotion and any such additional requirements as may be established for its members;
  2. Serve a minimum of two (2) years as an Associate Member; and
  3. Register and attend a minimum of one (1) annual conference of the AAFS. The conference at which the title of Associate Member was conferred, if attended, may be counted; however, the conference at which the title of Member is being considered shall not be counted. 

References not required. 

WHILE SERVING AS A MEMBER

To Fellow

Academy Requirements 

The criteria for promotion are applicable to all members seeking promotion to Member or to Fellow. Applications must be received and completed by October 1 to be considered for approval at the AAFS annual conference.

The criteria for original membership, as stated in the bylaws for the AAFS Basic Requirements, still apply to promotions:

Membership shall be available only to those persons of professional competence, integrity, and good moral character:

  1. Who are actively engaged in the field of forensic sciences and who have made some significant contribution to the literature of forensic science, or
  2. Who have advanced the cause of forensic science in some other significant manner; and
  3. Who satisfy the requirements for membership of the section applied to or recommended for; and
  4. Who have earned a baccalaureate or higher academic degree from a U.S. college or university accredited by one of the regional accrediting bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the United States Department of Education, or from a non-U.S. college or university bearing equivalent accreditation.

 In addition, the following criteria for service to the AAFS and to forensic science in general are used:

  1. Service to the AAFS. This includes attendance at the annual conferences and participation in the program. Attendance at a minimum of one (1) conference is required for advancement from Associate Member to Member and one additional conference for advancement from Member to Fellow. However, if exigencies such as workload requirements, finances, or ill health preclude such attendance, this will be taken into consideration. It is AAFS policy that members who exhibit at the annual conference must pay the conference registration fee, if the exhibitor wishes to receive continuing education credit or count the conference attendance toward fulfilling a requirement for membership promotion.
  2. Service in the general area of forensic sciences. This is intended to recognize the individual who performs outstanding service in the execution of his/her regular responsibilities but who, in so doing, is unable to excel in other endeavors.
  3. Service in the area of forensic science research. Any contribution which the individual has made since his/her admission to the AAFS, or latest advancement will be given consideration.
  4. Service in the area of forensic science education or training. Any effort (either by formal or informal curricula) to disseminate the scientific information which the individual has acquired throughout his/her career will be considered.

 

Section Requirements

  1. Fulfill the AAFS Basic Requirements for Promotion and any such additional requirements as may be established for its members by a specific forensic science discipline represented in the Forensic Nursing Science Section;
  2. Demonstrate active work in the forensic sciences at the time the promotion application is filed;
  3. Register and attend a minimum of two (2) annual conferences of the AAFS and one (1) Forensic Nursing Science Section Business Meeting. The conference at which the title of Member was conferred, if attended, may be counted; however, the meeting at which the title of Fellow is being considered shall not be counted (special consideration may be given for promotion after attendance at one (1) conference if extenuating circumstances have prevented attendance for two (2) years and all other promotion requirements have been met); and
  4. Meet two (2) of the following requirements prior to the annual meeting at which promotion to Fellow is conferred: a. Participate as an active member or chair of a committee of the Forensic Nursing Science Section of AAFS. One (1) year of committee work equals one (1) contribution. The committee chair will submit a list of active members at the end of each year to the section chair; or b. Participate in the annual program of the AAFS by presentation of a paper, poster, luncheon seminar, workshop, or moderating a routine Forensic Nursing Science Section program session; or c. Author a paper on a subject relevant to the section's area of interest that is accepted for publication in the Journal of Forensic Sciences or other peer-reviewed journal or conference proceedings. This requirement is fulfilled if the applicant's name appears as an author on the paper. Letters to the Editor or Book Reviews will not be considered in fulfilling this requirement.

    References not required.