Frequently Asked Questions (Education)


How do I become a SANE?
To become a SANE, you must first be a registered nurse (or advanced practice nurse), preferably with two years or more experience in areas of practice that require advanced physical assessment skills, such as emergency, critical care and maternal child health. Then you should find an educational program or SANE training that meets the IAFN SANE Education Guidelines. Training will consist of both classroom (online or live) and clinical components. IAFN approved courses are listed here. In addition, nurses should understand if there are any other existing state, province or local community requirements as there may be other regulations in place from the state, province, or country Boards of Nursing as it relates to SANE practice. For more information on SANE practice, view our SAFEta Technical Assistance Project.

Where can I find a job as a SANE?
The Association website has a Career Center where some jobs are listed. You can also search the SANE Program listing to connect with local programs in your area to learn about current job opportunities. You may also consider joining IAFN to network with other nurses in your state and learn about job openings.

I am the only SANE in my program, how do I do a peer review? Networking with other nurses is essential to assure that your practice and exams are meeting standards. (US DOJ National SAFE Training Standards, National SAFE Protocol). IAFN has resources and help available through the SAFEta project, where you can email us for technical assistance (help with questions, challenges, and issues such as this). For questions email

I just took the SANE training, can I put SANE after my name?
Congratulations on completing the training course!
In accordance with the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC), completion of a 40 hour SANE training course does not grant any official degree or certification and therefore, you cannot use “SANE” after your name. Read more about ANCC guidelines here. However, if you are employed as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, you may list it as your job title beneath your name.
Only nurses who have successfully completed the SANE-A® or SANE-P® examination may use those designations. A nurse who holds both SANE-A® and SANE-P® certifications should designate each certification separately after his or her name. Example: Jane Smith, RN, CEN, SANE-A, SANE-P.

Clinical FAQs

How many exams do I have to do before I can call myself a SANE?
The Education Guidelines (p. 27) state that clinical preceptor experiences should be completed in a time frame that ensures competency and maximum retention of knowledge and skills, typically within six months of completion of the didactic training. Required clinical skills shall be performed until competent, and competency is determined by the professional assessing the required clinical skills. All nurses are advised to check with their local Board of Nursing to ensure the clinical education opportunity selected meets any state/territory/province-specific requirements for SANE training.

Where do I go to get my clinical experience?
For those looking at training outside their local community, read more about facilities approved by the International Association of Forensic Nurses to provide a 2-day Clinical Skills Training or facilities offering one-on-one Clinical Preceptorship experiences.

Where can I get a preceptor in a rural area?
IAFN recognizes that it can be difficult for some communities to find/offer SANE clinical preceptorships. As a result we have compiled a list of programs who offer just such a clinical experience for SANEs who have completed didactic training.

I only have a physician who is willing to work with me for training. Is that OK?
Yes, the Education Guidelines state: “The clinical preceptorship is designed to complement the classroom educational experience and allow the SANE to apply information and skills obtained during the classroom experience. The required clinical experience is in addition to the 40-hour didactic course. It is recommended that this preceptorship be completed with the guidance of a physician, advanced practice nurse, or a forensically experienced registered nurse.”