News Release Canadian Forensic Nurses Association

September 20, 2022.

Recently, news agencies have reported an incident of an individual who attended a New Brunswick Emergency Department for
care regarding a stated sexual assault. Unfortunately, a specially educated nurse examiner was not available at the time.
The Canadian Forensic Nurses Association (CFNA) supports all Canadian forensic nurses with the mission:

to promote trauma-informed patient-centered and evidence based forensic nursing practice in Canada through Leadership, Commitment, Education and Collaboration

Forensic Nurse Examiners/ Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners have been conducting medical/forensic examinations in Canada
since 1994, and there has been expansion of forensic nursing specialized programs to respond to the increasing incidence of
individuals presenting to health care reporting sexual violence.

CFNA members call various Canadian provinces and territories home. CFNA is aware of the multifaceted challenges forensic
nursing programs/nurse examiners/forensic nurses in subspecialties face. CFNA acknowledges that these pre-existing
challenges are not unique to one specific province /territory or forensic nursing role. However, there are issues that CFNA feels
must be brought to the attention of the public, healthcare entities, educational institutions, and all levels of government.

• Recognition and support that violence is a public health issue.
World Health Organization. (
• Funding, supporting, and maintaining appropriate staff levels for programs through initiatives such as continuing
education in forensic nursing science, forensic science and technology, and research which directly impacts forensic
nursing practice.
• Increasing specialized post-secondary educational forensic nursing programs which are limited across Canada.
• Forensic nursing concepts are not part of undergraduate nursing education in Canada. The inclusion of forensic
nursing principles for undergraduate nursing students will encourage student awareness of careers in the many
subsections of forensic nursing.
• The Covid pandemic has only exacerbated the challenges that existed before 2020 impacting all Canadian health care.
The incidents of violence have increased for women and children who are the most vulnerable of our society.
Mantler et al. (2022).
• Recruitment and retention of forensic nurse examiners has been a particular challenge since the role was
implemented. By providing dedicated funding for the specialized education and continuing education on a consistent
basis would assist in alleviating the shortage of forensic nurse examiners.
• Recognizing the specialized body of knowledge and education required to practice as a Canadian forensic nurse in the
many forensic nursing roles, requires job descriptions and qualifications ensuring the professional practice standards
for the forensic nurse’s role can meet the medical/forensic needs of the individuals presenting for care.

Canadian Forensic Nurses Association.
Executive 2022 Please contact for more information/comments regarding
this news release