$1.2 million grant will help train sexual assault nurse examiners

caption arrowCaption
The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University was awarded a grant to train sexual assault nurse examiners.SANEs are registered nurses with specialized education in the medical forensic care of patients who have experienced various abuses.Those abuses include everything from dating violence to elder mistreatment sexual assault.These nurses also assist with perpetrator behaviors, death investigations and court testimony.The grant will create the Georgia Forensic Nursing Network, which will increase the number of sexual assault nurse examiners

Funds will be used by Emory to create the Georgia Forensic Nursing Network

The U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration awarded $1.2 million to the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University to create the Georgia Forensic Nursing Network. Once established, the network will work with partners across the state to increase the number of sexual assault nurse examiners in the state.

SANEs are registered nurses with specialized education and clinical preparation in the medical forensic care of patients who have experienced various abuses, according to the International Association of Forensic Nurses.

ExploreETSU offering online forensic nurse certificate

Those abuses include trauma, child and elder maltreatment, dating violence, intimate partner violence, strangulation, sexual assault, commercial sexual exploitation and technology-facilitated sexual violence. These nurses also assist with perpetrator behaviors, death investigations and court testimony.

Georgia added its first statewide SANE coordinator in 2019. Sarah Pederson started working in the position in January of that year. “We have never had a statewide coordinator, and it’s the first time an RN has been employed at the state agency (the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council).”

Associate professor Trisha Sheridan, DNP, WHNP-BC, SANE-A, SANE-P, FAANP, will lead the Forensic Nursing Network effort, which includes providing SANE training and certification to 140 nurses over the next three years.

The network’s mission, according to Emory, “is to engage academic-practice partnerships and stakeholders in a sustainable community of forensic nursing practice throughout Georgia and improving healthcare to survivors of sexual violence. The GFN Network will offer a variety of didactic and clinical training opportunities that include the only IAFN approved clinical skills training in Georgia through the school’s Emory Nursing Experience.”

ExploreMeet nurse Sarah Pederson, Georgia's first statewide Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner coordinator

Sheridan currently serves as the specialty coordinator of the women’s health/gender-related nurse practitioner program. She is board certified as a nurse practitioner and sexual assault nurse examiner. She is also a nationally known speaker on elder abuse, human trafficking and forensic nursing.

For more content like this, sign up for the Pulse newsletter here.

About the Author

Editors' Picks