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AFN Indy Brings Knowledge, Networking to Forensic Nursing Professionals

A total of 80 people were in attendance — in person and virtually — for the AFN Indy Regional Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, July 20-21.

The event included a pre-conference event that helped 26 participants prepare for the Generalist Forensic Nurse Certified (GFN-C) or Advanced Forensic Nurse Certified (AFN-C) tests through the Forensic Nursing Certification Board. Dr. Patricia Speck, president of the FNCB, was on hand to answer questions about certification. The morning of pre-conference content on the first day was followed by the main conference – two days of presentations covering varied aspects of the intersection between nursing practice and forensic science.

The lineup of speakers covered a wide breadth of topics from exam room to courtroom and across the lifespan. For example, in one presentation, forensic scientist and DNA analyst Alaina Kreger discussed the handling of DNA by crime laboratories, CODIS, and sexual assault kit backlogs. In another talk, Dr. Amanda Townsend educated attendees about gender-affirming surgeries and considerations when performing transgender SANE exams.

“This was a wonderful conference. The transgender and DNA presentations included information I had not heard previously,” said one attendee in an anonymous evaluation. “Very informative! I really enjoyed all the sessions!”

In addition to the presentations, in-person attendees were invited to network with colleagues and AFN Board members during an evening reception at presenter Barbra Bachmeier’s home. During the reception, AFN celebrated the retirement of Michelle Ditton, who has served as a forensic nurse in Fort Wayne, Indiana for 27 years. She was the chief nursing officer/executive director and a founder of the Fort Wayne Sexual Assault Treatment Center, which began operations in 1996.

This conference was the third regional conference presented by the Academy of Forensic Nursing in 2023. It was preceded by AFN Texas in March, and AFN Alaska in May. Each of the conferences featured a hybrid model, allowing attendees to participate in person or from anywhere in the world.

“Excellent presenters and a great variety of content,” wrote another participant in the conference evaluation. “All of the topics presented piqued my interest and gave me something new that I learned. It was a great learning opportunity. Thank you, AFN!”

The final conference for 2023, AFN National – “Advancing the Global Practice of Forensic Nursing” – will be held November 2-3, entirely online. AFN is currently seeking research and practice abstract proposals to be considered for presentation at the virtual conference. Deadline for submission of materials has been extended to August 21.

Registration for AFN National is open now through November 1. AFN members receive a discounted rate, while non-members can receive a complimentary one-year membership with their two-day AFN National Conference registration. Learn more and sign up here.

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