Sexual Assault

Choosing a SANE Trainer (Redux)

I received a question from a reader about choosing a training for prospective members of her SANE team. She had heard that there were some trainings out there that didn’t meet eligibility requirements for SANE certification and wanted to avoid them, but wasn’t sure what to look for. I agree that not only is it important to identify training that meets certification eligibility criteria, it’s also important to have some sense about quality in general (I promise you–not all SANE trainings are equal). So I encourage everyone to refer back to this guest post from 2009, which is as relevant today as it was more than 7 years ago (make sure to read the comments, too). Considering the sheer number of new subscribers we’ve had just in the past 2 months, it’s probably worth posting again, regardless. Enjoy!

{Post edited to update links.}

2 replies on “Choosing a SANE Trainer (Redux)”

I am glad I read this posting. I had wanted to start this training in the recent past, but I have the same concerns as this person who just posted. Where can you get quality SANE training out there? Penn State World campus offers Forensic Nursing for 12 credit units (6 of which are transferable), Costs $5000+ per unit. Unfortunately, this certificate course is not covered by financial aid. The same goes for UCR extension. The classes are scattered far apart that it will take sometime more than a year to complete the course depending on how the classes are scheduled. Not covered by financial aid either. My question again is where else can you get quality Forensic Nursingtraining out there without any compromise.


I don’t think you need to spend thousands of dollars to get SANE training. If you are unable to find a local in-person training, IAFN has an online one that has been well evaluated. It’s $450 for members ($600 for non-members): You can also check IAFN’s calendar to see what live events are being held:

In general I’m personally not a huge fan of the forensic nursing certificate programs (or graduate programs) out there. As someone who has run a program, the fact that a nurse had completed a full forensic nursing certificate or grad program wouldn’t make any difference for me in hiring decisions. For me it comes down to commitment to the nursing role, well-developed assessment skills, and good critical thinking abilities (plus a strong ethical foundation). I’m sure others feel differently, though.

I think some foundational education for SANE (if that is the area you’re interested in) and then taking advantage of every opportunity to both enhance your general assessment skills and also every available continuing ed opportunity to enhance your skills and maintain currency in the discipline is an effective way to go. But that’s just my 2 cents and not professional guidance. You will need to decide for yourself whether more extensive forensic nursing programs are a good return on your investment. If you do decide to go for a more extensive forensic nursing program, I would certainly seek out one that emphasizes developing you as a clinician and doesn’t focus overwhelmingly on the law enforcement or CSI stuff.

Best of luck and thanks for reading FHO!

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