Georgia College receives $980,000 grant for School of Nursing

Staff Report

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

Georgia College will continue training nurses to meet the specialized-care needs of sexual assault and rape survivors, thanks to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration (HRSA) grant extension of $980,000. 

The grant will fund another two years of the university’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) training program, which provides supplemental training focused on survivors of sexual violence.

“In Georgia, there is a shortage of SANEs and all services for sexual assault survivors,” said Josie Doss, interim director of SON and primary investigator on the grant.

“Our team of professionals are training experienced nurses to fill that gap and build a community of practice for nurses,” she said. “These patients have greater risk of depression, anxiety and suicide. But research shows patients with specially trained nurses have better outcomes.”

This is the first grant extension the university has received for its sexual assault and rape care training program. SANEs are a group of specially trained forensic nurses prepared to provide safe and effective care to victims of sexual assault. 

One out of every six American women, about 17%, will be the victim of an attempted or carried out rape in her lifetime, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey. Approximately 2.78 million men in the U.S. have also been victims of sexual assault of rape. 

Patients who receive care from SANE’s have better physical, mental health and emotional outcomes than those who receive care from untrained individuals, according to research. Prosecution rates are also better when SANE’s are available, because they’re trained in proper collection, storage and transport of forensic evidence.

Only 29 Sexual Assault Centers (SAC’s) in Georgia provide survivors with specialized care services. Many are understaffed, Doss said.

In the last three years of the grant-funded program, Georgia College has trained more than 100 registered nurses as SANEs. All nurses trained in the program are employed in assault centers, public health departments, hospitals and other healthcare providers across the state.

“With continued funding, we hope to support the training, certification and/or continued education for an additional 400 to 500 nurses in the next two years,” Doss said. “This includes one SANE in each of the 159 county health departments.”

With the grant extension, students will have more learning options for sexual assault training. The program will now offer in-person and online educational training; one- two- and three-day clinical immersions; and continuing education options for improving nurses’ ability to collect photographic evidence and testify in a court of law.

Partners in the SANE program include the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin, Academy of Forensic Nursing, Crisis Line Safe House and the Baldwin County District Attorney’s office.

Nurses interested in signing up or learning more about the SANE program, please contact Josie Doss, interim director of the Georgia College School of Nursing (SON) at josie.doss@gcsu.edu or Shantee Henry at shantee.henry@gcsu.edu.

 

This program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $980,000.00 over two years with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit https://HRSA.gov.