SANE and Forensic Nurse Needs in Sexual Assault Cases

SANE nurses perform a critically important job in the healthcare industry.  This job is far from a happy one but is a needed one due to the fact crime exists, in particular sexual assault.  SANE nurses collect critical forensic evidence from sexually assaulted victims and preserve the evidence for police and the justice system.  These forensic nurses can also play important roles in investigations against these crimes.  They may be called to court and become expert witnesses.

The article, “Demand for sexual assault nurse examiner services rises as staffing drops” by Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon reviews in one particular facility how sexual crimes have risen with the availability of SANE nurses dropping.  The article discusses the importance of these types of nurses and how they cover a broad area in ensuring proper investigation and collection of evidence.  MacKinnon states,

“The number of people seeking sexual assault nurse examiner services at Horizon hospitals is on track to exceed the past two years, while the number of nurses trained to perform them is dropping.  A total of 143 people have accessed sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) services between April 1 and the end of September, according to data provided by Horizon.  If that trend continues, the number could reach about 286 by the end of 2022-23.”

“Demand for sexual assault nurse examiner services rises as staffing drops”. Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon. CBC NEWS.  October 6th, 2022

To view the entire article, please click here


SANE and Forensic Nurses supply an invaluable service to patients as well as the criminal justice system in the prosecution of sexually assault crimes


SANE nursing is a specialized area of nursing that focuses on providing care to patients who have been victims of sexual assault or abuse. SANE nurses are specially trained to provide compassionate and confidential care to these patients, as well as to collect evidence and assist in the prosecution of their abusers. SANE nursing is an important part of providing comprehensive care to these patients and helping to ensure that their abusers are brought to justice.

The acronym “SANE” stands for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. The main goal of a SANE examiner is to collect evidence and document the injuries sustained by the victim during the assault. In order to do this, the SANE examiner will perform a thorough physical examination and collect samples for various types of testing. The SANE examiner will also take photographs of any injuries present on the victim’s body. While on site, the SANE examiner overall provides high quality, compassionate care to victims of sexual assault. The SANE provides a variety of services, including: medical assessment and treatment, crisis intervention and support, evidence collection, and referrals for additional services.

In addition to on site care and collection of evidence, SANE examiners also are called into court numerous times.  SANE examiners in court are responsible for providing expert testimony on the mental state of defendant at the time of the offense. This testimony is used to determine whether the defendant was legally sane at the time of the offense. SANE examiners use their clinical training and experience to assess the defendant’s mental state and render an opinion on whether the defendant was legally sane at the time of the offense.

Many SANE examiners also look into becoming certified in Forensic Nursing.  Forensic nursing is a field of nursing that deals with providing care to patients who have been victims of crime. Forensic nurses work closely with law enforcement and other officials to provide care and support to victims and witnesses of crime. They also work to collect evidence and compile medical reports that can be used in court.

Becoming a SANE Examiner

In order to become a sane examiner, one must first understand the basics of examining. This includes understanding the different types of exams, how to construct an exam, and how to grade an exam. Once these basics are understood, one can then begin to develop their own methods and procedures for conducting examinations. It is important to keep in mind that each examiner is different and therefore there is no single right or wrong way to conduct an examination.  The training covers all aspects of the examination process, from initial patient assessment to evidence collection and documentation. Upon completion of the training, nurses will be able to provide high-quality, compassionate care to victims of sexual assault.  In addition, Forensic nurses receive certification from a reputable organization.  Again, most forensic nurses are also SANE certified.


The vital importance of SANE examiners and Forensic nurses cannot be underestimated.  They provide care to the patient who has undergone the intense trauma of sexually assault but they also provide the collection of evidence needed to convict violent sexual offenders.  They furthermore work with the local, state and federal authorities in an investigation and also within the court room as a witness to the evidence.  Any nurse can become SANE and forensic nurse certified.  They merely must fulfill the training requirements and pass the tests required to perform this important service.

It can be a very dark field but a necessary one where a single good person can give love, compassion and light to a traumatic event for another.  Nurses who wish to find justice for others and care for the most vulnerable are excellent candidates for SANE and forensic nursing.

Please also review AIHCP’s Forensic Nursing Certification Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals within the nursing community and SANE workforce who are seeking a four year certification.  The program consists of 5 courses and then the applicant is eligible to earn the four year certification.

Additional Resources

“Rural Availability of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs)”. Elizabeth Thiede BSN, RN,Sheridan Miyamoto PhD, FNP, RN, FAAN.  The Journal of Rural Health. 06 December 2020. Access here

“Forensic nursing science: Global strategies in health and justice”. Virginia A.Lynch. Egyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences. Volume 1, Issue 2, June 2011, Pages 69-76. Access here

“What is a SANE exam?”. Elizabeth Boskey, PhD. Verywellhealth. August 10th, 2022.  Access here

“What is a Forensic Nurse?” Nurse Journal Staff. Nurse Journal. September 9th, 2022 Access here






The Importance and Role of SANE and Forensic Nursing

Those who fall victim to sexually assault need not only mental care but immediate physical care.  SANE nurses are the first line of defense for the vulnerable.  These nurses provide care and attention to the victim but also collect the needed forensic evidence to help authorities collect evidence and and prosecute potential cases.  SANE nurses are excellent candidates for Forensic Nursing Certification


SANE nurses make excellent candidates for Forensic Nurses. Please also review AIHCP’s Forensic Nursing Certification


The article, “What it’s Like To Work as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)” by Chaunie Brusie takes a closer look at the importance of SANE nurses. The article provides an interesting and closer look at the job and work of a SANE nurse.  The article discusses how SANE nurses play an important role in helping sexually assaulted victims find justice through immediate care and collection of evidence.  Brusie in particular interviews Leah Helmbrect who at the time of the article is training to become a SANE nurse.  Helbrect has many interesting perspectives on the role of Sane nurses.  She states,

“On top of the injustices she sees for victims, Helmbrecht adds that she struggles with battling common assumptions the general public has about sexual assault and domestic violence. For instance, comments like, “Why don’t they just leave if the abuse is so bad?” blame the victim and overlook the reality that the most dangerous time for a victim of intimate partner violence is when a decision has been made to leave. ”

She also adds in regards to the difficulty of becoming a SANE nurse that it is not meant for everyone,

“Many positions require you to have between 2-5 years RN experience (preferably L&D or ER, but not always mandatory), says Helmbrecht. “Also, it can take its toll emotionally and mentally,” she adds. “It can become really easy to self isolate and turn away from romantic relationships after listening to so many terrible first-hand statements of what happened during these assaults. Make sure you are ready to not take on the trauma these patients have experienced, but also not put your past trauma on your patient.”


“What it’s Like To Work as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)”. Chaunie Brusie. April 20th, 2022.

To review the entire article, please click here


A SANE nurse is a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. This type of nurse is specially trained to provide care to sexual assault victims and collect evidence for use in law enforcement investigations and/or prosecutions. SANE nurses are typically employed in hospital emergency departments, but may also work in other settings such as community health clinics or standalone forensic exam centers.

What do SANE nurses do?

They work to promote healing and provide support to victims of sexual violence. SANE nurses conduct forensic examinations, collect evidence, and provide expert testimony in court. They also provide education and prevention programs to help reduce the incidence of sexual assault.  They also work with law enforcement and other professionals to ensure that these patients receive the best possible care and treatment. SANE nurses are an important part of the team that works to keep our communities safe from sexual violence.

The role of SANE nurses is critical in providing comprehensive, compassionate care to patients who have been sexually assaulted or abused. SANE nurses are specially trained to provide high-quality, patient-centered care to these individuals. They are able to provide medical forensic exams and collect evidence, as well as offer emotional support and advocacy services. SANE nurses play a vital role in ensuring that these patients receive the care they need and deserve.

They work closely with county officials to ensure that these patients receive the best possible care and treatment. In addition, they work closely with detectives, law enforcement and prosecution.  In this regard, they not only work within the emergency room, but are also called into court for possible expert testimony.

A particular nurse who looks to enter into Forensic Nursing and SANE nursing needs to have an interest not only in care, but also an understanding of law as well as an articulate ability to communicate and speak before others.  They must also possess a strong character to seek justice for others.  It can become traumatic to see so much violence, so SANE nurses must also be able o see past the broken and help others find justice without allowing the evil of the world to break their spirit.

SANE nursing is not meant for everyone in this regard.  This does not mean one who cannot perform these duties is an inferior nurse but shows it takes a different type of person who can process this type of material and still be able to see a positive spin on he world.  Hence SANE nursing is not for everyone.  The job they do is a difficult one and requires a particular type of personality and professionalism. It is in many ways a calling.


in conclusion, SANE nurses provide an important service to their communities. They help victims of sexual assault receive the care and treatment they need. SANE nurses are specially trained and have the skills to provide care for these victims. They also work to educate the public about sexual assault and its effects on victims. SANE nurses play an important role in victim advocacy and support.

Please also review AIHCP’s Forensic Nursing Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals and nurses seeking a four year certification in Forensic Nursing. Many nurses who pass the SANE exam also pursue a Forensic Nursing Certification to add to their expertise and knowledge in helping the local county with sexual assault.

Additional Resources

“The First Year as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner: Role Transition and Role-related Stress Within a New SANE Team”. Julia SSengPhD, CNM, RN, etc, al. Journal of Emergency Nursing Volume 30, Issue 2, April 2004, Pages 126-133.  Access here

“Evolution of Forensic Nursing Theory——Introduction of the Constructed Theory of Forensic Nursing Care: A Middle-Range Theory”. Julie L. Valentine, PhD, RN, CNE, SANE-A, etc, al. Journal of Forensic Nursing. 2020 Oct-Dec; 16(4): 188–198. Access here

“From Forensics to Advocacy: The Importance of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners”.  September 16th, 2019. Georgetown University: School of Nursing. Access here

“SANEs: Who They Are, What They Do, and Why It Matters”. Elite learning. April 28th, 2021. Elite Learning.  Access here

Forensic Nursing Blog on SANE and Forensic Nursing Opportunities

Forensic nurses play a key role in society.  They serve as aid in understanding the nature of death and death investigations as well as helping victims of sexual abuse.  SANE nurses (sexual assault nurse examiner) are a special type of nurse that specializes in helping rape victims.  In the overall umbrella of forensic nursing, SANE nurses and nurses certified in forensic nursing can play key roles in various situations.  This blog looks to identify some of these key jobs.  Nurses who wish to diversify their career and have interest in criminal proceedings can become certified in both.

SANE nurses are excellent candidates for AIHCP’s Forensic Nursing Program. They all can play a key role in assisting sexual assault victims and helping coroner offices with cause of death while working with the criminal justice system


SANE nurses are in many cases the first line of defense for victims of sexual abuse.  When a potential rape victim or sexually assaulted individual arrives at the hospital, the SANE nurses cares for them and analyzes the evidence and injuries to the person.  During these initial assessments and examinations, SANE nurses determine if foul play occurred and contact the proper authorities.  They collect and preserve any DNA evidence and work in concert with the police and district attorney in presenting evidence to juries and possibly testifying as expert witnesses.  In this way they serve as a vital bridge between the criminal justice system and healthcare system.

In addition, SANE and Forensic nurses help with death scene reporting and investigations.  Working under the leadership of the coroner office, many Forensic Nurses help conduct autopsies of the dead and report cause of death to the coroner office.  They also can give vital reports to law enforcement.  Some may even run for elected positions within the coroner office and supply local government with their knowledge and expertise.

Due to the connection with the criminal justice system, many are also certified in Legal Nurse Consulting and can work in court room consulting with firms.  Many Legal Nurse Consultants are also certified in Forensic Nursing or have  SANE certification.  They hence are excellent resources for firms in criminal cases beyond the basic malpractice case.  AIHCP also offers a program in Legal Nurse Consulting.

Some also work within criminal prison populations and access and work with past perpetrators. At these capability they can also aid in reforming individuals as well as help victims in prison who may be attacked by other perpetrators.

This position holds extreme importance and is open to nurses who take special SANE training and who wish to become certified in Forensic Nursing with AIHCP.   SANE nurses are excellent candidates to enhance their forensic background with a Forensic Nursing Certification from AIHCP.  The program consists of five online courses that lead to a four year certification.  The courses are independent study and can be completed within one’s own time frame.  The final course reviews SANE training for nurses who may wish to work with their state in this official training.

If qualified, please review AIHCP’s Forensic Nursing Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.




AIHCP’s Forensic Nursing Certification Program Video

Forensic Nurses play a key role in helping victims and police find justice.  Many SANE nurses also become certified Forensic Nurses as well and help supply their expertise in collection of evidence for DNA during sexual assault crimes, as well as providing testimony for cases involving detailed expert advice.

AIHCP offers a four year certification for nurses in Forensic Nursing.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified healthcare professionals seeking a certification as a Forensic Nurse.  Please review and see if the program meets your academic and professional goals


Please also review AIHCP’s Forensic Nursing Certification Video


Forensic Nursing C.S.I. meets E.R

Looking for some great forensic nursing information?    Then perhaps you should check out our friends over at    They recently created an infograph about forensic nursing science and C. S. I. (crime scene investigation).

For full information please visit this link

forensic nursing
Forensic nursing combines police work with the medical field.

For more information on becoming certified in forensic nursing and taking online courses in forensic nursing please visit our main site.

Which Nursing Certification Would Best Suit You?

Find Out What Nursing Certification Finds Your Career Needs.

Every nurse knows that nursing education does not stop when they receive their RN.   You must increase your knowledge and constantly learn new technologies.   There is also the question of do you want to specialize your nursing career with a nursing certification in a specialty field?

Which nursing certification would you choose?

When looking for a nursing certification, you need to look for the best possible field to fit your career goals.    For example if you want to go into case management then you would want to look for online nurse case manager training.   Likewise for legal nurse consulting, nurse patient educator, etc.    Your next step would be choose the nursing training.

When choosing your courses do you want to physical attend classes or would online nurse training better fit your needs?   Both have positives and negatives to them.   In the end you need to decide which one would best suit your situation.

When you decide to earn a nursing certification, you will be taking positive steps to better yourself and your career.   Online nurse training is great for nurses who still need to work full time.   It gives you the flexibility your job can demand!    If you are in the market for a high quality online nursing certification then you might want to visit the American Institute of Health Care Professionals.   They offer online nursing courses in several different specialties.

The Roles of Forensic Nurses in Sexual Assault Cases

The role of Forensic Registered Nurses in sexual assault examinations

Sexual assault cases such as rape are usually very difficult crimes to prosecute. In the U.S. alone, out of every 100 rapes that occur, only 46 are reported. Out of the reported 46 rapes, only 12 result to arrests and only 3 result in prison sentences. This indicates a success rate of only 3% which is very low. In order to deal with this, advocates have turned their attention to forensic nurses to encourage them receive the relevant training to be able to give proper sexual assault examinations. Prosecutions are always very difficult especially if a victim does not get a prompt examination. Forensic nurses are therefore being encouraged to help in sexual assault cases to be able to deal with the rape menace once and for all.
The rate of registered forensic nurses that are certified to carry out sexual assault examination is very low compared to the total number of registered nurses. Thus, this is a very viable career option for nurses today.  Currently sexual assault examinations by forensic nurses are offered for free to any rape victims who are willing to be examined in at least one hospital in every county in the U.S. under a program started in year 2000. These forensic nurses are responsible for examining the rape victims and also contributing to the foundation of legal cases for these victims which shows that the role of forensic nurses in sexual assault is increasing. This State-wide rape exam system has not only modified the role of forensic nurses but it has gone further to stress on the importance of rape victims seeking medical attention immediately. Forensic nurses have the task of acting fast to persuade victims to seek medical attention fast to avoid cases of evidence being destroyed. Evidence in rape cases can be easily destroyed if a victim uses the bathroom or showers. Forensic nurses are usually aware that they need to find evidence quick if a rape case is to stand any chance of success thus they have to gently persuade their victims to agree to a quick exam.
The roles of forensic nurses from different states in the U.S. are enrolling for certification exams to learn how to carry out proper sexual assault examinations. The certification process involves spending time learning about trauma, anatomy, victim and suspect exams, pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The nurses are also taught about proper ways of evidence collection and preservation, the law and courts, testifying, violence, suspect profiling and referrals to victim services. Before being certified, forensic nurses also need to acquire some form of clinical experience that is crucial to passing a number of certification tests. Forensic nurses also have to be re-certified annually in order to make sure that they are kept informed in sexual assault examinations/procedures.
Once certified, forensic nurses can now be able to apply to any hospital in the U.S. that offers sexual assault services to become part of a group of specialists who are always on call throughout the year. A forensic nurse as a sexual assault examiner can earn additional salary by taking time on call. Most forensic nurses who can double up as sexual assault examiners therefore have other full-time nursing jobs. In summary the role of forensic registered nurses in sexual assault examinations can’t be undermined. If sexual assault cases are to be reduced, then these cases have to provide concrete evidence.
If you are interested in Forensic Nursing Education, please click here

Forensic Nursing Certification as a Career Option for Nurses

Is Forensic Nursing for You?

If you think being a registered nurse is the be-all and end-all of your professional career, then think again. While working as a nurse can be fulfilling, if you wish to further your studies, you won’t be disappointed with the many continuing education fields you can explore. A good example of further education you can complete is forensic nursing certification.
In a nutshell, it is a process by which a registered nurse is may be publicly recognized as being equipped with the high level of knowledge and practice skills in forensic evidence collection, criminal procedures, legal testimony and related fields of expertise. It is the application of the science of nursing to legal matters. As such, when an individual has been certified, he becomes a qualified medical professional who can perform duties that would eventually impact the establishment of legal evidence and responsibility for a traumatic injury. To be certified, a registered nurse has to complete a comprehensive education program related to this field along with a competency testing.
If you are interested in taking an education program in forensic nursing, then you should give our site a peek.   We have a comprehensive forensic nursing certification that is available online and gives you an excellent education in forensic nursing.  

Role of a Forensic Nurse in Criminal Justice

The Role Forensic Nursing plays in Criminal Justice

Role of a Forensic Nurse
Role of a Forensic Nurse in Criminal Justice

There is a specific role of a forensic nurse and forensic nurses to play in the criminal justice field. Frequently, certified forensic nurses handle the difficult job of treating sexual assault victims and collecting evidence. In many cases, this career field will attract college-educated female nurses. However, with the increased recognition of underserved male assault victims, more men are expected in the profession. The female forensic nurse bridges is an important gap between clinical medicine and laboratory science. Genetic technology can help identify and prosecute criminals like never before. At the same time, this evidence can often clear an innocent party. A certified forensic nursing specialist will be on-site when the victim arrives at the hospital. He or she will try to gather genetic evidence and provide comfort to the patient. As a recognized court expert, the nurse may be asked to testify at a criminal trial. Courts increasingly recognize nurse experts just as they do detectives.
By Ryan Murphy

Forensic Nursing: Away at College

How Forensic Nursing Students; Take Time to Talk to Your Family!

My neighbor and I have been good friends ever since she moved into the apartment next to mine three years ago. I always try to do what I can to spend time with her because I know that she gets lonely sometimes. She only has one daughter and her daughter is away at college. She is studying forensic nursing. I think that she is really enjoying studying in this field. My neighbor has been able to visit her a couple of times since she went away to college and her daughter has been able to come home several times as well. I have met her daughter a few times and she seems like she is a very nice young woman. I think that the field that she has chosen to work in is very suitable for her. She has explained some of the things that she has been learning to me quite a few times and I always enjoy hearing about it.
If you are looking into further your nursing career then perhaps you might be interested in taking a few online forensic nursing courses or even completing a forensic nursing certification.   Both options are available from the link above.    Now is a great time to start thinking about your future in nursing.

Forensic nursing
Forensic nursing in court