Irene Gacheri Mageto, Grace Omoni, Nancy B Cabelus, Justus O Inyega


Introduction: Forensic nursing has not been adopted in Kenya despite the fact that nurses work in settings that require this knowledge. The national Bachelor of Science in nursing syllabus calls for lectures in forensic nursing but lectures have neither been developed nor are there educators prepared to teach the unit. This study aimed at evaluating the training needs for forensic nursing in Kenya.

Methods: The study adopted a descriptive cross-sectional study design. Data was collected utilizing a self-administered questionnaire, among 116 randomly sampled practicing nurses from three hospitals. Additionally, a focused group discussion was conducted among ten nurse educators and an in-depth interview with one key informant. 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.

Results: Majority (90.5%) of the practicing nurses and 100% of the lecturers had no training on forensic nursing science whatsoever. The nurses and lecturers perceived training needs for forensic nursing practice included: 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.

Conclusion and recommendation: This study identified gaps in forensic nursing education in Kenya in that the nurses reported a lack of skills needed to care for forensic patients. Training in forensic nursing science is therefore strongly recommended.


Kenya; forensic nursing; forensic nursing practice; forensic nursing roles

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