Certificate ProgramsCertificate Programs

Sexual Assault Examination Training: Adult/Adolescent

Sexual Assault Examination Training: Adult/Adolescent


Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners work with law enforcement and the legal system while providing objective forensic examinations to victims and suspects of reported sexual assault events. Topics in the Sexual Assault Examination Training comprehensive online program include physical assessment of patients, forensic terminology, DNA technology, forensic and differential evaluation of findings, and collection and preservation of forensic evidence, chain of custody, documentation and photography, and preparation for court testimony.

Upon the completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • Describe the evolution of the sexual assault examiner in the United States.
  • Define rape and sexual assault according to her/his jurisdiction.
  • Establish nursing priorities of care for any sexual assault patient presenting to the SANE.
  • Understand how the judicial system works once a case has been destined to go to trial.
  • Begin to learn the process of the forensic sexual assault examination and the collection and preservation of evidence.
  • Compare and contrast elements of the Sexual Assault Examination as it varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction (or state to state).
  • Collaborate with other multidisciplinary personnel in the management of the sexual assault patient.

This program was developed in partnership with American Forensic Nurses, Inc.

Who Can Benefit?

This program is designed for physicians, Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, and other health care professionals. Non-Registered Nurses, law enforcement, attorneys, and other scientific professionals may benefit from the course, but are not eligible to conduct forensic examinations

Course Schedule

Required Courses Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
Sexual Assault Examiner Training 4 CEU

Completion Information

Completion Requirements

Participants must:

  • complete the four-unit online course
  • complete all assignments, the midterm and the final exam.

Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of completion.

This course meets the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) didactic requirements to become a certified SANE-A.The SANE-A achieves the Certification Credential by practicing as a SANE for a period of time and then successfully passing the Certification Examination administered by the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN.org). Some States may have their own credentialing requirements.

NOTE: To practice as a sexual assault examiner, you must also:

  • Be actively licensed as a Registered Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, Physician's Assistant, or Physician.
  • Successfully complete a preceptorship, comprised of a minimum of 45 hours of supervised clinical and optional non-clinical activities. You are responsible for arranging for your own preceptorship. It is strongly advised that the student contact their local SANE program for preceptorship planning, clinical mentoring, and practice.
  • It is recommended that nurses obtain their own Professional Liability Insurance.

Completion Time

The program can be completed in three months.


The tuition for this program is approximately $645. Required textbooks not included.



  • Cari Caruso, RN, SANE-A; Forensic Nurse Professionals, Inc., Charter Member of the International Association of Forensic Nurses, Contributing Author, Course Developer, Author, Expert Witness and Consultant. Santa Susana, California

Instructor Opportunities

Interested in becoming an instructor at UCR Extension? Find out how.

Additional Information

Textbook Information

Required: Giardino, A.P. et al. Quick-Reference Sexual Assault. St. Louis: G.W. Medical Publishing Inc., 2006.
(ISBN 1-878060-38-4)

Optional: "The Sexual Assault Examination: Essential Forensic Techniques" video/DVD, AFN, Inc.
To purchase optional DVD, please visit http://amrn.com/studentdiscount.html.

Delivery Method

The course is presented online. You will need access to the Internet, an e-mail account, Adobe Acrobat Reader software, and MS Word 98 or later. A high-speed connection, such as DSL or cable is highly recommended. To learn more about online courses at UCR Extension, visit our Online Course Information page


This course meets the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) didactic requirements to become a certified SANE-A.

Professional Credit

The following professional credit can be obtained by taking this course;

  • Registered Nursing Credit: CA BRN provider # 11713 - 40 CE hours
    (If you are from out of California, contact your state's Board of Registered Nursing to determine applicability.)
  • Minimum Continuing Legal Education: UCR Extension is approved by the State Bar of California as a provider of MCLE. This program is approved for 18 hours of MCLE credit for attorneys and paralegals.
    (Out-of-state participants: contact your state's Board of Nursing or State Bar for applicability toward your continuing education requirement if needed.)

Additional Resources

Advisory Board

  • Janet Barber, MSN, RN, FAAFS, DFIAFN, Nursing Education Consultant, Greensburg, IN
  • Faye Battiste-Otto, RN, SANE; Program Coordinator and Consultant; President, American Forensic Nurses, Inc.; Member, International Association of Forensic Nurses; Palm Springs
  • Patrick Besant-Matthews, M.D., Forensic Pathologist, Dallas, TX
  • Michael Bourke, Ph.D., Lead Criminalist, DNA Section, Department of Public Safety Forensic Science Laboratory, Meriden, CT
  • Cari Caruso, RN, SANE-A; Contributing Author, Forensic Nurse Professionals, Inc.; Member, International Association of Forensic Nurses; Pasadena
  • Greg Golden, D.D.S., Forensic Odontologist, Rancho Cucamonga
  • Constance A. Hoyt, MSN, RN; Forensic Clinical Nurse Specialist; Chief Author and Educational Coordinator; Member, International Association of Forensic Nurses; Merrimac, MA
  • Kimberly McCarthy, RN, Assistant Course Instructor, Emergency Department and Critical Care Specialist, York Beach, ME
  • Harold Messler, B.S., Chief Investigator, Crime Lab, Metropolitan Police Department, St. Louis, MO
  • Karen Phillips, J.D., RN, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Snyder, Turner, Phillips & Ober, LLC Attorneys at Law, South Weymouth, MA
  • Diane Wigmore, RN, SANE, Contributing Author, Assistant Course Instructor, Trauma Coordinator, Amesbury, MA

Contact Information

Jennifer Campbell
(951) 827-5804

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

UC Riverside Extension Center
1200 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92507-4596

UCR Extension Center

Tel: Work(951) 827-4105 or Toll-Free(800) 442-4990 toll-free
Fax: Fax(951) 827-7273