Evidence-based master of science in forensic nursing curriculum: A model for Kenya
Forensic nursing is an essential specialty of nursing because it extends traditional nursing care to include the historically disregarded medical-legal aspects of potential or actual client problems. Forensic nursing has not been adopted in Kenya formally despite the fact that nurses in Kenya work in settings that require this knowledge. The Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK) appreciates the need for training of nurses in this vital subject in view of the vast need occasioned by increasing crime rates in Kenya. The NCK however lacks a defined curriculum to train the experts. The purpose of this study conducted in three phases, was to fill the aforementioned gaps. In the first step, training needs assessment was undertaken utilizing the descriptive, cross-sectional study design. Self-administered questionnaires were utilized to collect data among 116 randomly sampled nurses practicing in forensic settings in three urban hospitals. In addition a focused group discussion was conducted involving ten nurse educators who were purposively selected from both private and public universities. A key informant interview was conducted in order to obtain detailed information with regards to forensic nursing practice in Kenya. The second phase involved development of an evidence-based curriculum for a master‘s training programme in forensic nursing sciences. The third phase entailed expert review of the curriculum in forensic nursing sciences. Quantitative data was analyzed using the SPSS statistical package version 20.0. Univariate analysis was conducted and the results presented using mean, standard deviations, frequency distributions and proportions. Bivariate analysis was done using Pearson‘s Chi-square test to determine relationships between categorical variables and P values of 0.05 or less were considered to have a significant association. Qualitative data analysis involved clustering together related types of narrative information then analyzed using thematic analysis. Overall, a significant majority 90.5% of the nurses had no training on forensic nursing sciences. The perceived training needs for forensic nursing practice in Kenya include: advanced health assessment, 3.4%, evidence collection and documentation, 40.5%, forensic psychiatry, 12.9%, gender violence 5.2%, legal implications on forensic nursing 13.8% , theory and practice in forensic nursing, 24.1% . Majority of the nurses, 98.3%, had a positive attitude towards forensic nursing because they reported that forensic nursing is an integral component in the practice of nursing care in Kenya. It is envisaged that the findings of this study will inform the government of Kenya via the Nursing Council of Kenya on the necessity for establishing expert training in forensic nursing in Kenya. The study findings will also contribute to the body of knowledge on the science of forensic nursing. Finally, the findings of the needs assessment have informed the formulation of an evidence-based curriculum for forensic nursing in Kenya.