Tennessee nursing school gets $1.5M to expand sexual assault training program


The University of Tennessee Health Science Center's nursing school in Memphis has received a three-year, $1.5 million grant from HHS to expand a training and certification program on caring for patients who experienced sexual assault. 

The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program in West Tennesee trains nurses to address survivors' needs and deliver trauma-informed care. There are just five SANE certified nurses in the state's western region, according to a June 17 news release. 

"Currently, we do not have enough SANE nurses in West Tennessee to provide exams and resources to victimes," said Andrea Sebastian, DNP, an assistant professor at UTHSC College of Nursing and child abuse nurse practitioner at Memphis-based Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. "With this grant, we will be able to increase access to these invaluable resources and help victims of sexual assault in our community." Dr. Sebastian will serve as project manager of the SANE program grant. 

The grant team will aim to recruit up to 61 nurse participants from the state's western region, and pay for them to earn SANE certification. 

UTHSC is working in collaboration with West Tennessee Healthcare, Shelby County Crime Victims and Rape Crisis Center, and Whiteville Family Medical Center. 

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