Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Certificate Program to be Offered at Kent State College of Nursing

From Touch Point Online Magazine, Winter 2020 – Vol. IV, Issue 4

Kent State University College of Nursing, in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic Akron General, will offer an Adult/Adolescent Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Certificate program beginning fall 2021. This collaborative program was created to address the regional and national shortage of SANE certified registered nurses, a shortage which is especially prevalent in rural areas.

Kent State’s SANE certificate program will provide BSN and MSN prepared registered nurses with at least two years’ experience the specialized training necessary to be certified as a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) for adult and adolescent patients. SANEs provide comprehensive care to victims of sexual assault or abuse. In addition, they conduct forensic examinations and may provide expert testimony if a case goes to trial.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention[1] website states that, “1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes.” A nationwide shortage of SANE nurses often forces victims to drive from hospital to hospital in search of a provider specially trained to conduct the examination. A February 2020 WKYC Studios investigation[2] found that while, “there are more than 200,000 registered nurses in Ohio, only 51 are certified by the International Association of Forensic Nurses to work with adult sexual assault patients.” Furthermore, “only one in three of Ohio’s 267 hospitals have a SANE nurse program,” according to the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence[3].

“SANE nurses are unique in what they do because of the type of care they provide,” stated 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 become a SANE nurse.”

Nurses 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 successfully passed a certification test.

“We are in desperate need of healthcare providers specially trained to provide holistic care and be advocates for traumatized patients. Many hospitals currently don’t have a sexual assault nurse so this would be a great opportunity for our certificate graduates to work with their hospital administration to establish programs in their hospital, especially in the rural communities,” said Lazaroff. “Additionally, we hope our program becomes a model for other universities around the nation to develop similar curriculums to address this shortage of SANE nurses.”

The certificate’s didactic courses will be offered on-ground and online at the Kent Campus and Cleveland Clinic Akron General, with practicum experiences conducted at the Sexual Assault Evidence Collection and Care Facility of Cleveland Clinic Akron General. This certification program will enroll up to eight students. Students will complete the program within one year, after which they will have met the eligibility requirements to sit for the SANE-A certification examination.

To learn more about the Adult/Adolescent Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Graduate Certificate program, please visit


[1] Preventing Sexual Violence. (2020, January 17). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from

[2] Polansky, R., & Trexler, P. (2020, February 12). Critical shortage of sexual assault nurses in Ohio poses risk to survivors, cases. Retrieved November 25, 2020, from

[3] SANE Safe Programs in Ohio. (n.d.). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from


POSTED: Monday, November 30, 2020 - 1:36pm
UPDATED: Monday, December 7, 2020 - 10:11am
Mariah Gibbons