MSU effort aims to double nurses able to treat sexual violence survivors

Local News
Michigan State University

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — MSU’s College of Nursing will be nearly doubling the number of nurses able to help treat survivors of sexual violence by 2024.

The new program is funded by a three-year, $1.4 million federal grant that ensures that nurses have their Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) certification, especially in rural areas.

The SANE certification gives nurses specialized knowledge in sexual assault and abuse cases, and takes approximately two years to complete.

Those enrolled in the program will have online coursework, an in-person clinical workshop and will be paired with a mentor to gain more clinical hours and experiences to meet certification requirements.

According to a release from Michigan State University, out of 83 counties in Michigan, there are 175 SANE certified nurses concentrated in 22 counties. With the new program, 130 additional nurses will become SANE certified.

An additional emphasis will be placed on training nurses currently employed across the state, so that rural areas will have access to SANE certified nurses.

MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., expressed his gratitude to both the federal government and MSU’s College of Nursing,

This is an important project for the state and our university is committed to helping provide more highly-trained sexual assault nurses to all communities. I’m proud we could be part of this effort. I thank the federal government for the grant and our College of Nursing for their leadership and collaboration with campus experts on this opportunity.”

Katherine Dontje, the project head of the SANE program and an associate professor at the College of Nursing,

Access to trained, trauma-informed health care professionals is still a significant barrier for survivors, with many having to drive great distances to find a SANE-certified nurse. This initiative strengthens our existing efforts to improve access to prompt, compassionate services for survivors of sexual assault.”

The program introduction comes after the recent debut of the Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct strategic plan.

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