📷I have decided to apply for a number of reasons, but the most salient is that the mission statement resonates so strongly with my practice and career goals: that of linking “research to practice through dissemination of scholarship, education and service to those affected by and responding to trauma”. My background includes numerous leaderships, education, practice and research roles that may benefit AFN. The major focus since 1998 has been to develop a program of research, education and practice that is evidence and trauma informed with a focus on prevention of violence or early intervention to prevent the consequences of violence. One of the early initiatives in this program was the development of a successful online Forensic Studies program which included North America’s first online sexual assault course. A group of three of us then formed what is now called the Canadian Forensic Nurses Association and I was the inaugural President. I was also a leader in certification, being the first Canadian to be certified as a SANE-A, and one of the first to be certified as an Emergency Nurse (ENC-C). My abilities in knowledge dissemination were recognized by the university with a knowledge mobilization award. This was in part due to the uptake of my injury guide (BALD STEP) by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police into the national sexual assault evidence kits and its’ incorporation into the IAFN Core Curriculum. The award also was related to the adoption of my four hour multidisciplinary program for rural communities to improve sexual assault services (EESAS) into at least two provinces and adoption by the Canadian Military as a required course pre-employment for all health care and military police. I continue to teach in the areas of evidence informed practice and application of research to practice, violence across the lifespan and sexual assault nursing.
Teresa Devitt-Lynch, MSN, RN, AFN-BC, SANE-A
📷 As a forensic nurse my clinical area of practice is adult/adolescent sexual assault; however, I have recently been focusing on criminal case consulting and providing multidisciplinary education on varied forensic healthcare topics. I’ve continually found my greatest successes have been achieved in the areas of forensic healthcare, program administration and leadership, and legal consulting. I am known as a versatile contributor with experience in all core forensic nurse functions, top-flight consensus-building and problem-solving skills, and the ability to make difficult decisions. I am confident my skills and background align perfectly and I believe strongly in the AFN mission and look forward to contributing to the AFN as a Board of Directors member or in any other capacity that I can.
📷I feel I would bring a wealth of experience and skill to the AFN Board, via my clinical and professional membership experience. I am able to articulate complex subjects, while creating a clear message. I am experienced in working with collaborative groups to both promote consensus, and to create what is necessary. My 17 year nursing career, much of which has been in leadership roles, gives me the ability to recognize "where we have been," and to see the potential of "where we can go. I can focus on the pertinent needs of the organization, while still maintaining a view and commitment to its future. I want to be an active part of the future of AFN and possess the skills and determination to make new realities.
Mahri Irvine, PhD
📷Serving as a board member appeals to me because I am committed to connecting diverse groups of professionals so that survivors can benefit from our shared knowledge and experiences. For example, in 2017 I became an associate member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). I am not in law enforcement, but I joined IACP because I wanted to learn more about the challenges facing my colleagues in law enforcement, as well as support an organization that is so committed to leadership development. Over the past few months, I have been serving as a committee member to develop IACP’s model policy on sexual harassment and misconduct for law enforcement agencies. This is an example of how I intentionally, collaboratively work with colleagues outside of my own discipline because I want to help improve all areas of victim services. I am deeply committed to building sustainable, respectful relationships with colleagues in various disciplines, and I am proud to have developed a reputation as someone who is supportive, knowledgeable, and committed to victim-centered, evidence-based best practices. I truly value collaborative partnerships, and despite the challenges of working in the movement to end men’s violence against women and children, I still maintain an optimistic attitude that culture change can be accomplished; we are all in this fight together, even when we come from different backgrounds and have different life experiences.
Tamara Jackson, MSN, RN, SANE-A
📷 I have my Masters in Nursing and have seen my leadership skills increase in my current job. My three goals would be to provide excellent patient centered care and increase Professional knowledge. New experiences within Leadership are important and I hope to be elected and use this skill.
Elizabeth McCord, FNP-C, SANE-A
📷 I have dedicated my career to providing the best evidence-based care to patients who have been victims of trauma. I also want to educate my community and others regarding the necessity of forensic nursing and how it changes outcomes for the better. By serving on the AFN board I believe this opportunity will allow me to increase education of the forensic specialty in my state as well as nurses to the profession. I am a dedicated Family Nurse Practitioner with nursing experience in many areas of nursing. I have been Educated and trained to care for patients who have been traumatized because of sexual assault, rape, strangulation or other victimization's.
Sandra W Nichols, Phd, APRN, FNP-BC, GNP-BC, PHMNP-BC
There are several areas of research that I believe are important to forensic nursing; I believe 📷that as a member of the Board of Directors I will be in a place to advance that research which will further our professional practice and promote public health and safety. We have a chance to make such a difference in professional nursing through this organization and set the standard for forensic nursing practice. One of the most admirable things about AFN’s Board of Directors is the vast areas of expertise represented through each member’s practice; I believe my psychiatric and addiction medicine experience will add depth to the Board allowing us to expand practice and education offered to psychiatric forensic nurses. Eventually, I would like to teach continuing education or even in a formal forensic nursing degree program coupling forensic nursing with emergency and psychiatric nursing.
Vikki Vodosia, BSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P
📷As a motivated and passionate person who has spent years helping others in the Nursing field, I am now interested in being considered for a position on the Board of Directors for the Academy of Forensic Nursing. I believe my previous experience starting in 2003 would allow me to bring a lot to the table in this new and exciting organization! I have previously held the position of Secretary/Treasury for many years with the ALIAFN (Alabama Chapter of the IAFN) as well as serving in many volunteer roles with the IAFN over the years. Along with Dr. David Bernard, I have helped to start several Pediatric/Adolescent SANE programs across our state as well as in Johnson City Tennessee. I am thrilled that we will now be reaching more of the Nurses that are trained in other avenues besides SANE.
These are your candidates for the AFN board this year. Voting will start next week. There is a fixed BSN Forensic clinical position and 3 board positions open this year.