Angela Amar, PhD, RN
November 2010 Member Profile

This month's member profile focuses on a forensic nurse whose deep interest in preventing and mitigating the effects of violence has propelled her to action.  Her face is probably familiar to those of you who attended the conference in Louisville.  Dr. Amar, as co-chair of the Forensic Council, was part of the council's interactive panel and also served as a co-presenter for two concurrent sessions:  Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Forensic Clients:  The Response of Forensic Nurses and Opportunities for Mental Health Nurses and Stalking Savvy:  How College Students Cope with Stalking.  The latter session speaks to her vocation: aiding adolescent and young women who have experienced violence.

Amar at the APNA Annual Conference

Amar's interest in the effects of violence stems from her encounters as a psychiatric nurse. "I began to notice that many of my patients had experienced violence," she explains.  "Seeing the mental and physical health effects of violence, I wondered how we could prevent violence and mitigate the health consequences." 

This led her to research. "Now in my research, I investigate the psychological, physical, and overall impact on young women who have experienced violence," she says. An Associate Professor in the William F. Connell School of Nursing at Boston College, Amar works in the perfect setting.  "In particular, I am interested in what influences help-seeking and reporting behaviors, especially on college campuses." 

The trajectory of her passion for this topic extends past her research and into the community. "I love that the academia allows me the opportunity to teach, to conduct research, and to be a part of a vibrant community," she says. "I am involved in prevention efforts, intervention programs, community education, and committee work that allows me to put action behind my research findings." 

And she has a concrete vision for the ultimate implementation of her research findings: "Because I work on a college campus, I would like to see my research findings be used to influence university policies to improve outcomes for both victims and perpetrators."

Amar's accomplishments have not gone unrecognized. She was recently named as not only an American Academy of Nursing Fellow, but also a Distinguished Fellow of the International Association of Forensic Nurses.  In addition, she is a Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Faculty Scholar, a highly-published nurse researcher with funding from the NIH, and in 2009 she was honored with the Excellence in Nursing Award from the New England Regional Black Nurses Association.  Despite all of this, she remains humble, feeling grateful for the position she is in.  "As a researcher, I feel fortunate to be in a place to expand the current knowledge base and advance the state of the science."  Congratulations, Dr. Amar!