Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program

The Adult/Adolescent SANE certification is a specific certification for SANE nurses trained in treating this population.

Duquesne School of Nursing Receives HRSA Grant for SANE Program

The Duquesne School of Nursing received a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Grant to expand the SANE Program. This grant provides advanced nurse education to increase the number of Registered Nurses who are trained and certified as SANEs, focusing on increasing service to rural and medically underserved areas (MUAs) and areas with a shortage of SANEs.

"The Duquesne University SANE Training program helped me to improve all aspects of my care. I feel I have a better awareness of how to meet the needs of patients." 

Cynthia Clark, MSN, RN, SANE-A, program participant

Scholarship Opportunities

As a recipient of the HRSA grant, Duquesne University School of Nursing is able to offer scholarship opportunities to nurses interested in pursuing IAFN SANE certification.

Grant Information

Pathways to SANE Certification

seal for IAFN-approved SANE CourseTo achieve Adult/Adolescent SANE certification through The International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN), the steps found on this helpful checklist must be completed before sitting for the IAFN certification exam.

The first step is the didactic course, which is approved by IAFN and meets the IAFN SANE Education Guidelines. This course is included in the SANE Grant Program, but it may also be taken alone or as part of a curriculum in some Duquesne educational programs that are part of the School of Nursing (for those who are not interested in pursuing IAFN Adult/Adolescent SANE certification). Please note this when applying, as there are various entry points and ways to enroll into the program to meet your needs.

Which Best Describes You?

Current Duquesne Student

Didactic Course: for students currently enrolled in a Duquesne University program who are interested in taking the online didactic course with no current plans to pursue a clinically preceptored experience or IAFN Adult/Adolescent SANE certification.

Interested in Adult/Adolescent SANE online Didactic course only

Didactic Course: for nurses not currently enrolled at Duquesne who are interested in taking the online didactic course with no current plans to pursue a clinically preceptored experience or Adult/Adolescent SANEcertification.

Interested in IAFN Adult/Adolescent SANE Certification and enrollment in SANE Grant Program

Didactic Course: for nurses who have not completed any steps in IAFN certification checklist but are interested in pursuing IAFN Adult/Adolescent SANE certification.

Clinical Preceptor Course: for nurses who have completed a SANE Adult/Adolescent didactic course and are interested in IAFN Adult/Adolescent SANE certification; Didactic course may or may not have been completed at Duquesne, but does meet IAFN SANE Education Guidelines.


This program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,500,000 with no financing by non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.


Program Information

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) are nurses who have been trained to properly care for victims of assault (both physical and sexual) by providing trauma-informed care and by recognizing, collecting and preserving evidence; interviewing patients; and linking them to vital community resources for follow up.



Academic Department

Forensic Science and Law

Advanced Practice Programs (Nursing)


varies based on entry

Required Credit Hours

varies by participation

Learn More About SANE Certification

SANE Certification Faculty

L. Kathleen Sekula, PhD, PMHCNS, FAAN, FAAFS

L. Kathleen Sekula, PhD, PMHCNS, FAAN, FAAFS

Professor, Noble J. Dick Endowed Chair in Academic Leadership, School of Nursing

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions typically asked about the SANE certification program

The didactic course is entirely online and is typically offered 3 times per year. Over an ten-week period, participants view approximately 40 hours of video and receive additional readings. The training is broken down into smaller modules of about six hours of video per week. Participants are required to post comments or questions about that portion in an online discussion board with other participants. A module is released every week, with a week or so in between for catch up time. Once the module is released, it can be accessed any time, day or night, 24/7 throughout the entire course. There is an exam that is only released for 24 hours three times during the last two weeks of the course.

The program is scheduled to run approximately ten weeks, but we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

No. The didactic course is entirely online.

No. Although, the speculum insertion process is covered as part of the modules, participants will need to get hands-on experience during a preceptored experience. We do not require a clinical component as part of our didactic course.

The didactic course alone DOES NOT certify you as a SANE. Please visit the IAFN's website for more information about the national certification requirements, examinations and test dates. If you are interested in becoming a certified SANE and completing all training requirements through to the final certification exam, please see the grant offered scholarship opportunity offered through the Duquesne University School of Nursing.


Yes. Duquesne University School of Nursing is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. Professionals from other disciplines are invited to participate, but we only offer continuing education for nurses at this time.

The online SANE training program is typically offered three times a year.

You may be eligible for enrollment in the SANE Grant Program. Please see the SANE Grant Program for more information.

The Winter Institute for Simulation, Education, and Research (WISER), a simulation center in Pittsburgh, PA.

The Clinical Preceptor Course is held Wednesday evening, 4:30 PM through Friday evening, 5 PM (Eastern Time).

All costs associated with courses, exam fees, and course-related travel expenses will be covered or reimbursed.
You will be enrolled into the Mentoring Phase of the program. Once you have completed your SANE-related clinical hours under the mentorship of the Expert SANE team, you will be enrolled into the online Review Course to prepare you for the certification exam. You will then apply for the certification exam.


If you have questions about the SANE certification program, including the didactic course, preceptor course or grant, please review the following resources.

Carolyn Smith

For specific questions about the Didactic Course:

Graduate Program Administrative Assistant, School of Nursing

Meghan Currie, BS

For specific questions regarding either the Clinical Preceptor Course (CPC) or the grant:

Graduate Program Project Manager, School of Nursing

Meghan Currie