Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctor of Nursing Practice Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Heather Moulzolf


Doctor of Nursing Practice



The practice of nursing in secure settings has been characterized by significant differences compared to traditional healthcare settings. Nurses in forensic settings report feelings of isolation, professional alienation, and lack of support. Although professional organizations for forensic and correctional nurses exist nationally, networking opportunities for nurses who work secure settings in rural Minnesota are lacking.

The goal of this study was to seek information about the feasibility and desirability of creating a forensic nursing network in a rural Minnesota setting. Quantitative and qualitative responses were sought to identify specific needs for and barriers to networking. Challenges in forensic nursing and benefits of networking were identified through a review of the literature.

The nurses strongly agreed that professional dialogue, moral support, and specialized training were important for forensic nursing. Several expressed interest in networking and some had already experienced networking through professional organizations. Those who had participated in professional organizations found networking to be the most valuable aspect. To create a successful network, those with previous experience desired improved availability, superior location, and increased overall attendance.

Many nurses in the study’s geographical area desired an opportunity for networking and had little preference for face-to-face time over that utilizing technology. This networking must consider nurses’ time availability, especially personal time.