George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Katherine Scafide, PhD, RN

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Katherine Scafide is an assistant professor (tenure-track) in the School of Nursing. As a forensic nurse, Dr. Scafide worked as a pediatric and adult sexual nurse examiner for eight years and was a death investigator for the State of Maryland’s medical examiner’s office. She continues to work as a forensic consultant for criminal and civil cases. Dr. Scafide obtained her PhD at Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation explored the use of colorimetry in the prediction of bruise age and the impact of skin color, fat, and gender on changes in bruise color. She is still known as the “paintball lady” for her unique method of creating bruises. Her research has been published in leading forensic journals and presented at national and international conferences. After teaching undergraduate nursing and forensic courses at Georgetown, Dr. Scafide has come to Mason to teach and mentor doctoral students. Her current research interests involve addressing the disparity in the identification and documentation of injuries among victims of violence, particular those of color, using new, innovative technologies.

Dr. Scafide has received a two-year, $449,437 grant from the National Institute of Justice for her study, “Analysis of Alternate Light in the Detection and Visibility of Cutaneous Bruises.” Learn more about the grant and her work.

University Service

  • Provost’s Multidisciplinary Research Seed Grant Award Reviewer 2015, 2016
  • Honor Code Committee Member 2016–Present

College Service

  • School of Nursing Representative, Grievance Committee, 2015-Present.
  • School of Nursing Representative, Faculty Development Committee, 2017-Present.

School of Nursing Service

  • Faculty Matters Committee, 2015-Present. Chair, 2017–Present.
  • At-large Member, Faculty Council, 2015.
  • Forensice Nursing Instructor, Nursing Camp, 2017.

Community Service

  • "Sexual assault and the role of the first responder," Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service (GERMS) Georgetown University, Washington, DC. Invited, guest lecture 2013

  • "Forensic nursing," Forensic Club Wootton High School, Rockville, MD. Invited, guest lecture 2010, 2012


PhD, Nursing, Johns Hopkins University (2012)

MSN, Forensic Clinical Nurse Specialist, Johns Hopkins University (2005)

BSN, Nursing, Georgetown University (2000)


Research Interests

  • Addressing disparities in identification and documentation of injuries among victims of violence, particularly those of color, using new, innovative technologies
  • Research related to campus sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and vulnerable adult maltreatment
  • Current active projects include the development of a new scale to measure bruise visibility, the use of alternate light to identify bruises or products that mimick bruises, and the epidemiology of drug facilitated sexual assault in the District of Columbia.


(* data-based; ** student)
Journal Impact Factor (5-year): Journal Citation Reports®, Thomson Reuters Citations: Web of Science, Clarivate Analytics

**Sibandze, B.T., & Scafide, K.N. (2017). Among nurses, how does education level impact professional values? A systematic review. International Nursing Review. Advance online publication. [Impact Factor: 1.717; Citations: 0] 

**Narayan, M.C., & Scafide, K.N. (2017). Systematic review of racial/ethnic outcome disparities in home health care. Journal of Transcultural Nursing. Advance online publication. [Impact Factor: 1.213; Citations: 0]

*Scafide, K.N., Sheridan, D.J., Taylor, L., Hayat, M. J. (2016). Reliability of tristimulus colourimetry in the assessment of cutaneous bruise colour. Injury, 47(6), 1258–1263. [Impact Factor: 2.409; Citations: 0]

*Politt, E.N., Anderson, J.C., Scafide, K. N., Holbrook, D., D’Sylva, G., & Sheridan, D. J. (2016). Alternate light source findings of common topical products. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 12(3), 97- 103. [Impact Factor: 0.603; Citations: 0]

*Scafide, K.N., Sheridan, D.J., Campbell, J.C., DeLeon, V.B., & Hayat, M.J. (2013). Evaluating change in bruise colorimetry and the effect of subject characteristics over time. Forensic Science, Medicine, & Pathology, 9, 367-376. [Impact Factor: 1.726; Citations: 3]

Nash, K.R., & Sheridan, D.J. (2009). Can one accurately date a bruise? State of the science. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 5, 31-37. [Journal Impact Factor: 0.603; Citations: 6] 

Sheridan, D.J., & Nash, K.R. (2007). Acute injury patterns of intimate partner violence victims. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 8, 281-289. [Journal Impact Factor: 4.866; Citations: 55]

Book Chapters

Sheridan, D.J., Scafide, K.N., Hawkins, S.L., Makely, J.L., & Campbell, J.C. (2013). Forensic implications of intimate partner violence. In R. Hammer, B. Moynihan, & E. M. Pagliaro (Eds.), Forensic nursing: A handbook for practice (2nd ed). Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Sheridan, D.J., Scafide, K.N., Kapur, J., & Giardino, A. (2011). Intimate partner violence: Assessment, forensic documentation, and safety planning. In L. Ledray, A. Burgess, & A. Giardino (Eds.), Medical response to adult sexual assault: A resource for clinicians and related professionals. St. Louis, MO: STM Learning. 

Sheridan, D.J., Nash, K.R., & Bresee, H. (2009). Forensic nursing in the emergency department. In Emergency Nurses Association & L. Newberry (Eds.), Sheehy’s emergency nursing: Principles and practice (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. 

Sheridan, D.J., Nash, K.R., Poulos, C.A., Watt, S., & Fauerbach, L. (2009). Cutaneous injuries. In C. Mitchell & D. Anglin (Eds.), Intimate partner violence: A health based perspective. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Williams, J.R., Baty, M.L., Gonzalez, R.M., Nash, K.R., & Campbell, J.C. (2009). Trauma and violence. In J. C. Urbancic & C. J. Groh (Eds.), Women’s mental health: A clinical guide for primary care providers. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.


"Analysis of Alternate Light in the Detection and Visibility of Cutaneous Bruises," 2016-DN-BX-0147, National Institute of Justice (NIJ/DOJ). January 2017-January 2019. Role: Principal Investigator. $449,437.

"Interdisciplinary Research Training on Violence," T32MH20014, National Institute of Mental Health. Campbell, J. (Principal Investigator), September 2008-August 2009. Role: Pre-doctoral Fellow.

Honors & Awards

Dolores Caylor Award, 2011, 2010, School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University

Professional Affiliations

Life Member

Maryland-District of Columbia (MD-DC) Chapter
Board Member. Positions held: Immediate Past-president, President, President-elect, Secretary, and Treasurer): 2005-2008.

International Association of Forensic Nursing
Schools & Programs