First forensic nurses trained to improve care in rape and sexual assault cases graduate

By press office

The first forensic nurses trained at postgraduate level to help those who have experienced rape or sexual assault, will graduate from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, this week. An important part of this nursing role will be to skillfully blend the forensic work with person centred care – treating everyone as a unique individual - and working to reduce trauma to the person by looking after their health and wellbeing, and respecting their rights and dignity. 

The twelve nurses who graduated with a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Forensic Practice will complement and contribute to an existing nursing workforce that understands the impact of complex trauma following an assault. 

Jess Davidson has worked as a nurse in the area of justice for over 15 years and has been the driving force behind the delivery of this new Advanced Forensic Nursing Practitioner course at Queen Margaret University. 

Queen Margaret University is the only university in the UK running a Postgraduate Qualification in Advanced Forensic Practice for nurses. 

"Dean of the School of Health Sciences at Queen Margaret University, said: “Nurses are one of the most trusted professions in the UK and they need to respond to areas where they know improvements are required. Jess Davidson has made this her life work, spending years working across multiple agencies in government, justice, health and education to create a course which responds effectively and appropriately to the needs of people who have experienced rape and sexual assault. Without Jess, along with support from the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, NHS, Royal College of Nursing, Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland, Crown Procurator Fiscal Service and Scottish Police Authority, this course would not exist."
Professor Fiona Coutts, Dean of the School of Health

Professor Coutts concluded: “Queen Margaret University has a history of responding to the most pressing needs of society. We are proud that under Jess Davidson’s inspirational leadership, we are educating a new generation of advanced nurse practitioners who will contribute towards the provision of trauma informed healthcare for this vulnerable group.” 

Notes to Editor

For further media information please contact Lynne Russell, Communications Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E:,, M: 07711 011239.