University collaborates to improve care for sexual assault survivors

Program designed to increase trained nurses in underserved communities

September 09, 2022 |

Strengthening Forensic Nursing, a project of RE Lab, is sponsoring the Adult/Adolescent Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Course for registered nurses (RNs). The class will be held Monday, Sept. 12 through Friday, Sept. 16 at the Hubbard Building, 424 North Riverfront Dr., Mankato, Minn., room 201. The teachers are sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) experts Linda Walther, Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and Ellen Johnson, Regions SANE Program. Approximately 15 students are expected to attend the class.

This course is the first in Minnesota to integrate a hands-on simulation learning experience into the traditional classroom experience. The simulation event, hosted with the University of Minnesota’s M Simulation Center, features professional standardized patients who portray the role of a patient and are able to give feedback to nurses about the care they provide. 

The week-long content of the course follows a strict national guideline to meet standards so that attendees may later apply to sit for the Commission for Forensic Nursing Certification SANE-A examination after fulfilling additional requirements. SANE nurses provide critical health care for people who have experienced sexual assault, helping individuals and communities.

Strengthening Forensic Nursing is a project by a collaboration of faculty at Minnesota State University, Mankato School of Nursing and the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, which was awarded a ~$1.5 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to support and increase the number of SANEs in rural Minnesota, sovereign nations, and underserved areas in the United States. This grant team is operationalizing a new Trauma-Informed Care Community of Practice which focuses on classroom and simulation training, mentorship, and technical assistance. Minnesota State University Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,546 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 30 colleges and seven universities.

RE Lab hosts a variety of additional training opportunities, and is building a community of SANE nurses. Registered nurses who are SANEs or plan to become SANEs are welcome to apply. Project staff will connect with interested RNs to set up a brief interview. Visit UMN SANE: a Trauma-Informed Community of Practice for an application form (under “Join Community of Practice). 

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