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Center of Excellence in Forensic Nursing

Center of Excellence in Forensic Nursing

Established to support people who experience violence across the lifespan, the Texas A&M Center of Excellence in Forensic Nursing facilitates interprofessional collaborations to offer unsurpassed research and training opportunities by providing forensic nursing education and outreach for nurses, other medical professionals, law enforcement, attorneys, social workers and advocates.

What is Forensic Nursing? 

Victims of violence—those who endure sexual assault, intimate partner violence, neglect or any other form of intentional injury—deserve and require patient-centered, trauma-informed care. Forensic nurses are professionally trained to treat these victims as patients, keeping them and all they have endured at the center of that treatment. 

Texas Evidence Collection Protocol 

In an unprecedented, joint effort with the Office of the Texas Attorney General, faculty with specialized training and education in forensic nursing at Texas A&M College of Nursing formalized updates to the Texas Evidence Collection Protocol (TXECP). This document serves as the standardized guide for physicians, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, nurses, sexual assault nurse examiners and fellow health care professionals to use in their mission to provide trauma-informed, evidence-based and patient-centered care across the entire state of Texas. Learn more about the TXECP with our webinars.

Vision, Mission and Goals

The Vision of the center is to be a nationally recognized, well-funded and endowed research, education, and outreach center of Excellence in Forensic Nursing.

The Mission of the center is to improve health outcomes of those affected by violence and disaster. The center leads the nation in developing and implementing interdisciplinary, trauma-informed strategies to prevent and address violence across the lifespan through research, academic programs, continuing education and outreach.

The Goals of the center are to:

  • Educate Texas nurses to provide trauma-informed care to violence victims;
  • Establish partnerships with community stakeholders to stop cycles of violence;
  • Advance forensic nursing knowledge through research; and
  • Develop leaders via a Master of Science in nursing with a forensic nursing focus.

Current & Proposed Projects

The Texas A&M Center of Excellence in Forensic Nursing, as designated by the Texas A&M Board of Regents on August 8, 2019, establishes a first of its kind resource for registered nurses, emergency health care professionals, physicians assistants, law enforcement officers and others that interface with some of our state's most vulnerable populations.

Our forensics team is leading the charge is sustaining positive momentum and impactful research through strategic partnerships, community outreach and engagement, and unique simulations to educate, train and equip nurses to provide trauma-informed, patient-centered care.

  • Deliver continuing professional education through web-based platforms, instructor-led trainings, special-topics workshops, and experiential learning (simulation) throughout Texas.
  • Assure access to highly qualified sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) through training directed at nurses working in rural and underserved areas.
  • Implement a web-based statewide Community of Practice to underwrite support for and consultation to forensic nurses in Texas.
  • Create and disseminate academic lectures for Texas A&M students and community-focused newsletters on interpersonal violence topics such as human trafficking and elder abuse.
  • Assist governmental agencies to provide impactful activities to address interpersonal violence, including providing input on pending legislation.
  • Support the community by delivering care to those experiencing violence and abuse.
  • Subject to state and federal funding, develop telehealth innovations to support health care providers to provide evidence-based, trauma-informed care to patients in rural and underserved area requiring treatment related to interpersonal violence.


  • Speaker Request
    • Faculty and staff provide instructional trainings, serve as guest speakers and support continuing education in a variety of ways. To request a member of our team for your next event, please complete the Speaker Request form found here.

Continuing Education Courses

To support nurses seeking specialized training, we offer continuing education courses in forensic nursing with an emphasis in multidisciplinary approaches to prepare nurses and fellow health care professionals, law enforcement, social workers and advocates.


Health Resources & Services Administration Grantee Application

Apply online by February 24, 2020, at 8:00 AM

The Texas A&M University Center of Excellence in Forensic Nursing received federal grant funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to provide specialized training in forensic nursing free of charge to approved grantees that:

  1. currently live and work in rural, underserved areas; or
  2. serve patients that live and work in rural, underserved areas. 

We are seeking qualified applicants motivated to expand their knowledge, resources and training through this grant funded opportunity. If accepted, grantees will receive a reimbursement* for accommodations and course costs. 

Please note the courses that qualify for reimbursement are as follows:

  • 40 hour Adult/Adolescent Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Training
    • Meets and exceeds standards for Texas State SANE certification
  • Adult Sexual Assault Simulation
    • Gain all 15 pelvic examinations needed for Texas State SANE certification and experience with 4 simulated forensic medical examinations, 2 of which count toward Texas State Certification
  • Mock Testimony Simulation
    • Gain all 16 courtroom hours needed for Texas State SANE certification

Grantees will also have access to our Community of Practice, where they can continue to grow in their journey with access to resources designed to support them in achieving their career goals including networking for hospital preceptorship sites and preparation for national certification.

Applications must be submitted online by February 24, 2020, at 8:00 AM.

*Reimbursement for course costs and accommodations (including per diem food, hotel, and mileage) not to exceed $5,000.


Physical address:

8447 Riverside Parkway, Bryan, TX 77807
Health Professions Education Building, 3rd Floor



Faculty & Staff

Stacey Mitchell, DNP, MBA, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, DF-AFN, FAAN

Director, Center of Excellence in Forensic Nursing
Clinical Associate Professor, Texas A&M University College of Nursing
Stacey Mitchell's bio »

Nancy Downing, PhD, RN, CP-SANE, SANE-A, FAAN

Associate Professor, Texas A&M University College of Nursing
Nancy Downing's bio »


Clinical Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University College of Nursing

Chelsea Knutson, MSN, RN

Program Manager for Forensic Outreach

Cynthia Hurt

Senior Administrative Coordinator l
Cynthia Hurt's bio »

Support the Center

Forensic nursing provides specialized care needed across the state and nation. Supporting ongoing research, community outreach programs and expansion of educational opportunities ensures the Texas A&M Center of Excellence in Forensic Nursing provides innovative instruction, evidence-based practice and state-of-the-art learning environments for those seeking to provide trauma-informed, patient-centered care.

Save lives through education and outreach. Plan your financial gift.

Patty Rabel

Patty Rabel, CFRE

Senior Director of Development, Texas A&M College of Nursing

Phone: 979.436.0175  |