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The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner: A Win-Win Solution

Girardin, Barbara W. MSN, PhD, RN, CCRN, SANE

Innovations in Advanced Practice

The sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) cares for rape victims who traditionally would have been seen in the emergency department by a physician and nurse generalist for examination and evidence collection. SANE is part of a multidisciplinary team, the sexual assault response team, and has offered this team forensic and healthcare expertise specific to rape victims. Courts have designated SANE as an “expert witness” in cases of sexual assault. SANE is a more appropriate provider for the typical sexual assault patient. She has relieved the emergency department of a nonurgent group of patients and the volume of raped patients that she does see allows her to maintain expertise that serves well when caring for these patients and when testifying as an expert witness.

Palomar Pomerado Health, Forensic Health Services, Escondido, Calif.

Corresponding author: Barbara W. Girardin, MSN, PhD, RN, CCRN, SANE, Palomar Pomerado Health, Forensic Health Services, 121 N Fig St, Escondido, CA 92025 (e-mail:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.