Forensic Psychiatric Nursing: Promoting Collaboration between Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing and Forensic Psychiatry

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Liberty Olive Macias, MSN, RN-BC, CFN
Patton State Hospital, Highland, CA, USA

Literature has substantiated that lack of collaboration in the health care system compromises quality of care that results in increased human and financial losses. Conversely, a collaborative partnership among health care providers improves communication, delineates roles, enhances professional competence, and improves overall delivery of quality care.

Interprofessional collaboration is an essential practice element in the forensic psychiatric mental health field. There is an increasing number of nurses employed in the forensic setting, working with psychiatrists, physicians, psychologists, social workers, and rehabilitation therapists. Forensic nursing texts describe the role of nurses working in prisons, jails, and forensic psychiatric hospitals as specialized practice due to the use and application of clinical nursing skills to patients who have had interactions with the legal system. The International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) have published the scope and standards of forensic nursing practice and yet nurses are underutilized resources in terms of what the scope of practice entails.

This presentation will introduce an initiative to promote collaboration among psychiatrists, other clinicians, and nurses in the forensic psychiatric field based on the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations. The proposal for quality improvement will expand nurses’ role through training and education and provide opportunities for nurses and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners to expand their professional roles. The presentation will endorse the utilization of advanced practice nurses in the psychiatric mental health field to become key players in the practice of forensic psychiatry.