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H.Res. 938: Recognizing the important role America’s forensic nurses play in supporting survivors and addressing violence.


The text of the resolution below is as of Feb 22, 2022 (Introduced).


IV

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. RES. 938

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 22, 2022

(for herself, Mr. Katko, and Ms. Jayapal) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce

RESOLUTION

Recognizing the important role America’s forensic nurses play in supporting survivors and addressing violence.

Whereas violence is a persistent health care issue and forensic nurses are the bridge between the medical and legal needs of patients;

Whereas more than 2,000,000 people are treated for violence-related injuries each year in the United States;

Whereas patients who experience violence sustain physical injuries, as well as acute and chronic physical and mental health conditions, including sexually transmitted infections, HIV, substance misuse, anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation;

Whereas the health consequences of violence cost hospitals and health care systems approximately $2,700,000,000 annually;

Whereas forensic nurses are essential to America’s health care because they provide trauma-informed nursing care that focuses on patient populations affected by violence and trauma, including victims and perpetrators of violent crimes, across the lifespan and in diverse practice settings;

Whereas the International Association of Forensic Nursing (IAFN) was established in 1992 and celebrates its 30th anniversary this year;

Whereas forensic nursing has been formally recognized as a specialty practice area since 1995;

Whereas forensic nurses work independently, yet collaboratively within health care and community systems ensuring the provision of care that extends from the clinical setting to the courtroom;

Whereas forensic nursing encompasses caring for diverse patient populations, including patients who have experienced sexual assault or abuse, intimate or interpersonal violence, elder and child maltreatment, human trafficking and accidental as well as nonaccidental trauma, in roles that include sexual assault nurse examiner, forensic nurse examiner, death investigator, correctional nurse, forensic psychiatric nurse, legal nurse consultant, forensic geriatric specialist, nurse attorney, and forensic clinical nurse specialists;

Whereas forensic nurses foster an understanding of the health consequences, effective interventions, and prevention of violence and trauma in individuals, families, and communities;

Whereas forensic nurses work in partnership with multidisciplinary stakeholders, including Tribal organizations, advocacy, law enforcement, military branches, and legal counsel; and

Whereas forensic nurses are facing unprecedented challenges in maintaining patient access to care throughout the COVID–19 pandemic with the changing demand for services as rates and severity of violence increase: Now, therefore, be it

That the House of Representatives—

(1)

acknowledges that forensic nursing is more relevant now than ever before, as this specialty practice evolves to address the gaps in health care related to effective violence intervention, reduction of long-term health consequences, and prevention;

(2)

honors forensic nurses for their commitment to providing evidence-based, compassionate, trauma-informed care encompassing the entire scope of nursing practice; and

(3)

reaffirms its commitment to working alongside forensic nurses to further their contributions to improve health outcomes for patients experiencing violence.