Kent State College of Nursing, Cleveland Clinic Akron General Team Up to Offer Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Certificate Program

Media Contact

Beth Hertz 330.590.7377

Kent State University’s College of Nursing and Cleveland Clinic Akron General are joining forces to offer an adult/adolescent Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) certificate program beginning this fall.

This collaborative one-year program was created to address the regional and national shortage of SANE-certified registered nurses, especially in rural areas.

Only one in three of Ohio’s 267 hospitals has a SANE program, according to the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence. Akron General’s program, known as PATH (Providing Access to Healing), is the only SANE program in Summit County. Since 2015, trained nurses have provided round-the-clock staffing to conduct examinations in a private area of the hospital’s emergency department.

The new program will provide nurses who have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing and at least two years’ experience with the specialized training necessary to be certified as a SANE nurse for adult and adolescent patients.

“SANE nurses are unique in what they do because of the type of care they provide,” said Eldy Lazaroff, DNP, RN, CNP-BC, professor and coordinator of the Kent State College of Nursing women’s health nurse practitioner online program. “These nurses create a quick relationship of trust with their patients. It takes a special personality to be a SANE nurse.”

Program participants will receive SANE certification through the International Association of Forensic Nurses’ Commission on Forensic Nursing Certification. To be certified, nurses with a minimum of two years of full-time experience must have completed a minimum of 40 hours of sexual assault education, worked under the supervision of an expert (e.g., SANE-certified nurse), performed enough sexual assault exams to demonstrate clinical competency and passed a certification test.

“We know that victims of these horrible crimes benefit from working with nurses who have the clinical expertise as well as deep compassion and patience to work through the complicated process of performing examinations and properly gathering crucial evidence for potential future prosecutions,” said Jennifer Savitski, M.D., chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Akron General and director of the hospital’s PATH program. “We believe this joint program with Akron General and Kent State will produce skilled, caring practitioners to bring these services to patients who truly need them.”

The certificate’s courses will be offered in person and online at the university’s Kent Campus and at Akron General, with hands-on experiences conducted at Akron General. This certification program will enroll up to eight students who will then be eligible to sit for the SANE certification examination.

Lazaroff said program organizers hope that graduates go on to work with their employers to create new SANE programs where ones do not already exist and that other universities will use the program’s model to develop similar curriculums.

“There is a desperate need for healthcare providers who are specially trained to provide holistic care and be advocates for these traumatized patients,” she said.

To learn more about the adult/adolescent Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) certificate program, please visit www.kent.edu/nursing/sane.

For more information about Kent State’s College of Nursing, visit www.kent.edu/nursing.

For more information about Cleveland Clinic Akron General, visit https://my.clevelandclinic.org/locations/akron-general.

Media Contacts:

Kent State University: Kathleen Norman, knorma11@kent.edu, 330-672-0441

Cleveland Clinic Akron General: Beth Hertz,  hertzb@ccf.org, 330-590-7377

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Cleveland Clinic – now in its centennial year – is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 70,800 employees worldwide are more than 4,660 salaried physicians and researchers, and 18,500 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,500-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 19 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, and locations in southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2020, there were 8.7 million total outpatient visits, 273,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 217,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

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