providing a regional network for training


Our evidence-based, best-practice program is also considered the hub of a regional network of forensic specialists and serves as a training center for a large number of Virginia nurses. As a regional training center, the program has hosted nationally recognized Forensic Nurse Examiner and Pediatric Forensic Nurse Examiner trainings for more than 1,000 nurses from across the United States and seven foreign countries.

The training for both adult/adolescent and pediatric courses includes a 40-hour didactic course with about 250 clinical hours. Bon Secours Richmond Forensic Nursing Services program staff as well as other law enforcement and forensic experts teach the courses. Additionally, the staff provides training to identify child abuse and neglect to pediatric practices, schools, EMS, and other groups within our commumity who may come in contact with victims of abuse. They provide training for local law enforcement to help them identify victims of sexual assault and human trafficking.

Bon Secours Richmond Forensic Nursing Services forged numerous collaborative community partnerships. Organizations like the various Commonwealth Attorney’s offices and Safe Harbor for victims of human trafficking – are our champions in the community, willingly sharing a wealth of knowledge, experience and wisdom.

One example of a strong partnership we’ve forged is the development of the Regional Hospital Accompaniment Response Team (RHART), an alliance of representatives from Bon Secours, Hanover Safe Place, Safe Harbor and the YWCA that serves as an advocacy program for people who have experienced domestic and sexual violence. These trained volunteer advocates assist victims with emotional support during the hospital visit and follow-up referrals and information, including counseling, intervention, advocacy and resources.

Currently, there is no other program in the Commonwealth of Virginia that brings together multiple different agencies and a health care system to serve this patient population across multiple jurisdictions.