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How to Prepare for the SANE Exam for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners

Updated on January 24, 2012

The International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) has a certification program for sexual assault nurse examiners. Registered nurses experienced in this forensic field can get certified by passing the SANE exam.

The IAFN actually has two different certification programs and exams. They are the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner - Adult/Adolescent and the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner - Pediatric. The Association uses SANE-A and SANE-P to abbreviate these two credential designations.

The first basic eligibility requirement imposed for both the SANE-A and SANE-P exams is that the applicant must be a registered nurse with a license in the USA or a licensed first-level general nurse (RN equivalency) in the place where the applicant works.

The SANE-A certification is somewhat easier because it requires only two years of general RN experience and either 40 hours of coursework related to adult/adolescent sexual assault nursing education or 64 hours of a course that combines adult/adolescent and pediatric sexual assault nurse training. In addition, clinical competency must be obtained within the past 3 years by way of supervised practice with sexual-assault patients. There is a list for the clinical tasks and competency required in the handbook. You can see a link to that handbook in the Resources section at the end of this article.

The SANE-B certification exam eligibility is similar. However, it requires 3 years of work as an RN, a 40-hour course on pediatric sexual assault nursing (or 64-hour combined course), and the same acquisition of clinical competency in the previous 3 years.

Naturally, attending one of these courses and getting clinical experience are great first steps in preparing for either SANE exam. However, there are some other resources provided by the International Association of Forensic Nurses that will assist in studying for the test.

The candidate handbook lists actual exam references that may be purchased for both certification tests. Nurses should follow the content outline for their respective exam on sexual assault nurse examination when using the reference books. The content outline is like a table of topics that may be covered on the tests.

IAFN also has an optional study guide that covers both the SANE-A and SANE-P exams. As of August 2011, the guide is $12 for IAFN members and $18 for nonmembers. It also has a SANE practice test and general test-taking tips. However, be aware that you will likely still need to purchase the exam references. The study guide may save you time but will not do all the work for you.


IAFN: SANE Candidate Handbook

IAFN: SANE Study Guide


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