Kent State College of Nursing, Cleveland Clinic Akron General Team Up to Offer Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Certificate Program

Kent State University’s College of Nursing and Cleveland Clinic Akron General are joining forces to offer an adult/adolescent Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) certificate program beginning this fall. 

This collaborative one-year program was created to address the regional and national shortage of SANE-certified registered nurses, especially in rural areas. 

Only one in three of Ohio’s 267 hospitals has a SANE program, according to the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence. Akron General’s program, known as PATH (Providing Access to Healing), is the only SANE program in Summit County. Since 2015, trained nurses have provided round-the-clock staffing to conduct examinations in a private area of the hospital’s emergency department. 

The new program will provide nurses who have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing and at least two years’ experience with the specialized training necessary to be certified as a SANE nurse for adult and adolescent patients.

“SANE nurses are unique in what they do because of the type of care they provide,” said Eldy Lazaroff, DNP, RN, CNP-BC, professor and coordinator of the Kent State College of Nursing women’s health nurse practitioner online program. “These nurses create a quick relationship of trust with their patients. It takes a special personality to be a SANE nurse.”

Program participants will receive SANE certification through the International Association of Forensic Nurses’ Commission on Forensic Nursing Certification. To be certified, nurses with a minimum of two years of full-time experience must have completed a minimum of 40 hours of sexual assault education, worked under the supervision of an expert (e.g., SANE-certified nurse), performed enough sexual assault exams to demonstrate clinical competency and passed a certification test.

“We know that victims of these horrible crimes benefit from working with nurses who have the clinical expertise as well as deep compassion and patience to work through the complicated process of performing examinations and properly gathering crucial evidence for potential future prosecutions,” said Jennifer Savitski, M.D., chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Akron General and director of the hospital’s PATH program. “We believe this joint program with Akron General and Kent State will produce skilled, caring practitioners to bring these services to patients who truly need them.”

The certificate’s courses will be offered in person and online at the university’s Kent Campus and at Akron General, with hands-on experiences conducted at Akron General. This certification program will enroll up to eight students who will then be eligible to sit for the SANE certification examination.

Lazaroff said program organizers hope that graduates go on to work with their employers to create new SANE programs where ones do not already exist and that other universities will use the program’s model to develop similar curriculums. 

“There is a desperate need for healthcare providers who are specially trained to provide holistic care and be advocates for these traumatized patients,” she said. 

To learn more about the adult/adolescent Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) certificate program, please visit

For more information about Kent State’s College of Nursing, visit

For more information about Cleveland Clinic Akron General, visit

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Media Contacts:
Kathleen Norman, Kent State University,, 330-672-0441
Beth Hertz, Cleveland Clinic Akron General,, 330-590-7377

POSTED: Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 9:49am
UPDATED: Monday, April 5, 2021 - 3:52pm
Kent State University's College of Nursing and Cleveland Clinic Akron General