A sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) is a nurse specifically trained to provide evidentiary examinations of sexual assault victims. SANEs provide medical assistance while also assessing, documenting, and preserving evidence for potential prosecutions. There is no state-issued license or endorsement for a SANE. The International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) grants SANE certification to nurses who:
The Office for Victims of Crime, a component of the Office of Justice Programs at the United States Department of Justice, maintains the SANE development and operation guide and provides federal grant funds to programs wishing to establish or expand SANE programs.
The only current training provider in the state is the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress in Seattle.
Sexual Assult Nurse Examiner Online and Clinical Training Program. The Washington State University (WSU) College of Nursing must establish a program to increase the availability of qualified SANEs in eastern Washington. The program must include:
WSU College of Nursing must report annually to the appropriate committees of the Legislature on the use and impact of the program.
Regional Sexual Assult Nurse Examiner Leader Pilot Program. A regional SANE pilot program is established. The regional lead shall:
WSU College of Nursing shall develop and train lead SANEs and assist in the development of support mechanisms and role requirements for regional lead SANEs. An annual report on the impact of the pilot program is due annually, with a final report due no later than January 1, 2026.
PRO: We have been working on this bill for four years. There is only one place in the state where a person can become a SANE. A SANE is the nurse that does the assessment after a sexual assault occurs. There are too many barriers to currently becoming a SANE—time needed, getting to Seattle, and childcare. This legislation is just one of the pieces of the puzzle, to make sure we increase the numbers of SANEs in this state. As a SANE in Spokane, there is a need for this. Research has shown certified SANE nurses are more holistic. Our training needs cannot be met with the current model. More than one accredited program will better serve nurses and sexual assault survivors. Close to home training will ensure we have SANEs when they are needed. This is a workforce bill. It leverages the robust programs at the WSU College of Nursing to create more SANEs. WSU is the largest producer of nurses in the State. If this bill is approved and funded, WSU is ready to assist in providing this training.