Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)

Program Mission and Vision

A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) is a Registered Nurse who has been specially trained to provide immediate, compassionate, and comprehensive care to sexual assault victims, including forensic collection of evidence.

South Dakota, like much of the country, suffers from a lack of trained SANEs. The mission of the SANE Program is to coordinate the resources and provide support for healthcare professionals across the state in order to improve the access and delivery of services to all victims of sexual assault.

Upcoming Trainings:

The Mission of the program is to:

  • Provide immediate, compassionate, culturally sensitive, and comprehensive forensic evaluation and treatment by trained, professional medical experts.
  • Deliver timely medical/forensic examination with more complete evidence collection.
  • Avoid further trauma to all sexual assault survivors in the health care environment.
  • Maximize the probability of collecting and preserving the physical evidence of an assault for potential use in the legal system.

This will be done by:

  • Maintaining a state-wide roster of SANE-trained and SANE-certified healthcare professionals to ensure service capacity across rural SD counties.
  • Providing financial support to healthcare professionals interested and willing to become SANE-trained or SANE-certified.
  • Fostering a peer-led SANE Learning Collaborative with resource sharing.
  • Identifying and partnering with the existing networks of sexual assault response
  • Partnering with local universities to integrate SANE education into the nursing curriculum.

Join the South Dakota's SANE Learning Collaborative

The SANE Learning Collaborative is intended for South Dakota healthcare professionals seeking forensic nursing education.  Being a member of this SANE group will allow you to ask questions, access on-line resources, receive current training offerings, apply for financial assistance, and collaborate with other SANE Learning Collaborative members.

Who do I contact with questions?

  • Questions related to the SANE Program should be directed to:

    The Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment

    Phone: 605-357-1416

    Email: [email protected]

  • Questions regarding the testing of the evidence collected should be directed to:

    South Dakota Forensic Laboratory

    Phone: 605-773-3673

  • To request adult or pediatric kits or to provide comments related to kits, please contact:

    South Dakota Department of Health

    Phone: 605-773-3361


    Email: [email protected]

  • Questions specific to evidence collection procedures for pediatric victims only can be directed to following number on a 24/7 basis:

    Child’s Voice, Sanford Health

    Phone: 1-800-341-4320 (no outside public or lay person access)

SANE Activities

*The SD SANE Collaborative supports the cost of trainings for rural SD nurses, including participant travel, hotel, and per diem.
➢ Quarterly Supplemental Trainings which may include:
▪ General overview of pediatric and adult/adolescent kits
▪ Courtroom Training
▪ Multi-disciplinary training
▪ Strangulation
▪ Cultural considerations
▪ Crime Lab information
▪ Intersections of sexual violence (disabilities, domestic violence, Human Trafficking)
➢ Bi-Annual Clinical Skills Lab (IAFN-Approved)
*Note: A prerequisite to this training is a 40+ hour IAFN-approved didactic training. Most South Dakotan medical providers can receive this training for free online at Tribal Forensic Healthcare. Other in-person and online training opportunities are available through IAFN.
▪ Experienced SANE trainers
▪ Live models
▪ Simulation lab
▪ Comprehensive content
o Male and female genital anatomy
o Female pelvic speculum exams (foley and fox swab techniques)
o STI testing and prophylaxis
o Prepare and consent
o State laws
o Forensic photography
o Medical history
o Evidence collection (genital and non-genital)
o Plan of care and discharge
o Case scenarios integrating: culture, trauma-informed care, safety planning, etc.
▪ Identify overlap or gaps in services available

➢ Enhance existing nursing curriculum to include basic forensic nursing within the BSN and RN-BSN programs. Pilot with USD and expand partnerships to other nursing programs.
➢ Establish the SANE Scholars Program to encourage and support graduate nursing students in pursuing SANE-training and rural practice in SD by supporting educational costs.

➢ SANE Learning Collaborative
▪ Create and maintain a roster of nurses and other medical providers to support one another and receive information from the SD SANE Program.
▪ Information distribution
o List serve updates: legislation, training opportunities, pertinent topics/ issues that arise.
o Resource Library/Password-protected website for SD SANEs
– Consolidated calendar of events for local, regional, national training opportunities
– Access to prior webinar trainings
– Links to local and national resources
– Updated Kit documentation forms
– Contact information
➢ SANE Steering Committee
▪ Identify sustainable process to track SANE-certified and SANE-trained medical professionals across the state of SD.
▪ Review legislation considerations
▪ Provide annual feedback on training needs
▪ Review kit contents and documentation forms
▪ Make recommendations of above items to the statewide Sexual Assault Task Force
➢ Local, Regional, and National Collaboration
▪ Continually research and collaborate with SANE programs in other states to determine best practices and models that may be suitable to SD.
▪ Identify and collaborate with existing networks of sexual assault response across sectors (law enforcement, judicial system, medical response).

2020 Partners

  • International Association of Forensic Nurses
  • Tribal Forensic Healthcare
  • SD Department of Health
  • Statewide Sexual Assault Task Force
  • SD Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault
  • Child’s Voice at Sanford Health
  • SD Division of Criminal Investigation
  • SD State’s Attorney
  • SANE Learning Collaborative
  • SANE Task Force
  • Avera Health/e-SANE
  • Sanford Health
  • Monument Health
  • Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Grant
  • The Sexual Assault Forensic-Medical and Advocacy Services for Tribes (FAST) Initiative
  • SD State Legislators
  • Advocacy organizations
  • Hennepin County, MN Train to Retain: SANE Expansion in the Upper Midwest
  • Parry Center for Clinical Skills and Simulation
  • University of South Dakota – Nursing Department
  • Trainers from: Coteau Health Care System Hospital, Brookings Health System, Avera Health, Sanford Health

USD Offers Forensic Nursing Curriculum

The Nursing Program at the the University of South Dakota enhanced its existing nursing curriculum to include basic forensic nursing within the BSN and RN-BSN programs.

To address the shortage of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) across the state, the University of South Dakota partnered with CPCM in an innovative manner to introduce students to forensic nursing throughout the lifespan.

It creates a coordinated effort for students to be engaged with forensic nursing with the goal to matriculate 10% of students into the International Association of Forensic Nursing (IAFN) Sexual Assault Nurse examiner course post licensure. The new mini-module forensic nursing curriculum was launched under the development of Susan Strobel, USD Assistant Professor of Public Health in fall 2020.

“This is truly a win-win for our nurses and for the state of South Dakota,” Strobel said. “We identified a gap in practice and are working hard to close it so we can care for vulnerable populations in South Dakota.”

Student evaluations indicated they gained knowledge that will change their professional practice.

Organizers hope the curriculum can be used by other universities and health sciences majors to prompt further training for students to combat a statewide increase in violence and abuse.

This project is supported by Grant Number 2018-WR-AX-0014 awarded by the Office of Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice.  Its content is solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the U.S. Department of Justice.