UWM begins training program to help alleviate shortage of sexual assault nurse examiners

dr. kako

By Kathy Quirk
UWM Report
April 21, 2023

UWM’s College of Nursing is working to increase the number of sexual assault nurse examiners, which are in short supply both in Wisconsin and nationwide.

The effort will be via a new program, launching April 22, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) nurse is a registered nurse with specialized training and education to work with patients who have experienced sexual assault, abuse or incest.

These nurses receive specialized training in forensics because of legal issues involved, according to Penninah Kako, associate professor of nursing, project director and principal investigator for the project. In addition to increasing the number of certified nurse examiners, the UWM project is focused on preparing nurses in culturally responsive care.

“Unfortunately, Black and Indigenous women suffer the most,” Kako said. LGBTQIA+ people are also among those who are also marginalized, she added. Black and American Indian women and LGBTQIA+ people experience sexual assault at disproportionately higher rates compared to their white, cisgender or heterosexual counterparts, according to Kako.

Read more on UWM Report.