Greetings from coastal Georgia!
I am reaching out to my fellow members to, personally, ask that you exercise your right to vote in our Board election process. As a member, IAFN is YOUR organization, and as a group of members and leaders in our specialty, we are a collective and cohesive voice working to demonstrate the importance of the work we do as forensic nurses, establish standards for those caring for our many patient populations, promote forensic nursing practice consistent with the best available evidence, and, ultimately, improve the lives of those we serve. It is imperative as a professional organization that we actively seek leadership who is committed to our mission and works tirelessly to support those hard-working forensic nurses who are working tirelessly every day to provide excellent care to our patient populations, whether it's through direct patient care, program development and/or management, education/training, and/or research to improve forensic nursing practice. You play an instrumental role in carrying out the mission of our organization when you take the five minutes to cast your online ballot, so please do it before time runs out at the end of the month!
By now some of you may have noticed that I am one of the two candidates on the ballot for President-elect of our organizational Board, and I want to, personally, ask for your vote. I am a doctoral-prepared pediatric nurse practitioner, university professor, AFN-BC, SANE-A, and SANE-P. I have successfully established and managed full-service forensic-medical clinical and education programs in the military and in the civilian sector. These programs serve sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse patients. Currently, I own and operate a forensic consulting firm, and I provide forensic-medical services and consultation to a children’s advocacy center serving 6 counties and two military installations in Georgia. I also serve as the medical-forensic consultant to Georgia's Atlantic Judicial Circuit’s Child Maltreatment MDT, and I serve as the Chairperson and medical-forensic representative to the Child Fatality Review Board. Finally, I am a professor in the MSN/FNP, DNP, and PhD programs at Walden University.
My experiences have afforded me many leadership and clinical opportunities in multiple sub-specialties of forensic nursing, including SANE, death investigation, child abuse, domestic violence, elder abuse, and pediatric mental health, clearly demonstrating my passion for and dedication to expanding forensic nursing practice and recognition of the value that each of our subspecialties bring to forensic nursing. Utilization of that experience, as well as my experience in administration, education, and program development, I will work hard for YOU as members of OUR organization to fulfill our mission as an organization through research, advocacy, awareness, and education.
As the leader of our organization I promise to:
1. Work hard for YOU!
2. Make YOU the focus of this organization – and this includes the best interest of those we serve because they are important to us, and they are the reason we do this work.
3. Actively work to recruit and retain forensic nurses from all subspecialties. There is definitely power in numbers, and it is difficult to ignore a loud and persistent, collective voice!
4. Serve as an effective change agent to propel our organization forward, with a focus on: A) Evidence-based practice; B) Improving forensic nursing care and patient outcomes; C) Expanding forensic nursing practice; D) Expanding awareness of and support for non-SANE forensic nurses; and E) Examining current bylaws, policies, and position statements to ensure they are up-to-date and aligned with the best available evidence and the philosophy of current members.
5. Empower members to get actively involved in our organization and to mentor those who are new to our organization with a main goal of facilitating adequate support for and increase retention of forensic nurses and organizational members.
6. Through transparency and information sharing, help YOU, as members, feel and believe that IAFN is YOUR organization, actively lead by experienced forensic nurses, leaders, educators, policy-makers, researchers, and change agents who are working hard for YOU!
7. Be here for YOU.
8. Never be afraid to work hard and to advocate for YOU, your best interest, and the best interest of those we serve.
I am unafraid, dedicated, honest, hard-working, and today, I am asking that YOU allow me the honor of working tirelessly for YOU!
Thank you for your time and consideration.