SANE Nurse Training

What’s new?

  • On August 10, 2018 Governor Rauner signed House Bill 5245 into law to take effect January 1, 2019 –
    • increase the statewide number of sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) and physicians for adults, adolescents and pediatrics,
    • ensure the patient is first stabilized and then seen or transferred to a qualified facility within 90 minutes, and
    • improve the collection of sexual assault evidentiary exams and documentation.
  • The bill passed out of the House 101 – 0 and out of the Senate 49 – 0.

What is the issue?

  • According to the Illinois Department of Health, nearly 4,500 people sought emergency room treatment for suspected, alleged and confirmed sexual assault in 2016.
  • There is concern that this statistic does not reflect the total number of cases because sexual assault survivors may not come forward due to stigma, fear or not knowing where to seek treatment.
  • The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network states only about 40% of sexual assaults are reported to the police.
  • SANE nurses are specifically trained to provide immediate, comprehensive and compassionate care to victims of sexual assault and conduct sexual assault evidentiary exams for victims and maintain a verified chain of evidence for law enforcement.
  • SANE training is provided to treat adults and adolescents, in addition to a separate training for pediatrics.

Why does it matter?

  • Victims of sexual assault must have access to a qualified professional or SANE nurse to help ensure the highest quality, most compassionate care within a reasonable time frame when a patient is most vulnerable.
  • Appropriate collection of sexual assault evidentiary exams for victims is critical to maintaining the verified chain of evidence for law enforcement purposes.
  • Research has demonstrated that SANE programs reduce the risk of re-traumatization of the sexual assault survivor in the healthcare setting, and increase the quality of evidence collection and documentation which leads to increased prosecution rates.

What is the AMITA Health perspective?

  • Patient safety is extremely important to AMITA Health. When a patient comes to us at their time of need, we seek to provide the highest quality, most compassionate care available. Providing SANE nurses and other qualified professionals who have been trained to work with sexual assault victims is part of our commitment to our patients, and to working collaboratively where appropriate with law enforcement.
  • We respect our nurse partners.  We recognize that nurses are a critical part of the care delivery team. We support our nurse partners with additional training opportunities to prepare our team to receive patients in various states of crisis. We recognize our nurse partners who achieve special recognition and certifications, such as SANE certification, in order to ensure we can provide our patients with high quality, compassionate care.
  • We are called to be a voice for the voiceless.  Our faith-based traditions call us to advocate for those who do not have a voice and to fight for social justice. Victims of sexual assault often avoid reporting the crime because they know the person who assaulted them or are afraid of the stigma that assault creates. We are committed to paying special attention to those most likely to lack access to health care, many of whom are in desperate situations or very vulnerable and in need of treatment.

External Resources

Information from third-party organizations that can be resources for you to continue to learn about the issues at hand.

IHA Briefing on New Hospital Requirements in Sexual Assault Treatment Legislation

Illinois Health and Hospital Association briefing on the components and implementation of new sexual assault nurse examiner training laws.

View Resource

Illinois Attorney General Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner

Website for the Illinois Attorney General providing additional information on sexual assault nurse examiner training.

View Resource

Featured News

Featured news includes articles from multiple viewpoints and is designed to keep you abreast of the current debate around this issue. This information should not be construed as our point of view.

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Bill requiring hospitals to have specially trained nurses for rape victims is “important” but challenging, officials say

This week Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill I personally welcome with open arms: a new law that requires all Illinois hospitals have specially-trained nurses ...

Aurora Beacon + August 16, 2018 + View Article

Rauner signs law requiring Illinois hospitals have nurses trained to treat rape victims

All sexual assault victims who enter an Illinois emergency room will soon be treated by a nurse trained to care for them. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation ...

Chicago Tribune + August 13, 2018 + View Article