Wisconsin Department of Justice

Wisconsin Department of Justice Medical/Forensic Program

The Medical/ Forensic Program provides training and technical assistance for healthcare providers on forensic nursing. Medical/Forensic programs are programs that employ Nurses to care for patients who are victims of crime. These programs are based on a national model and the National Protocol, which utilizes an interdisciplinary, community-based approach for the dignified and compassionate care and treatment of those populations.



Experts in the state created the Sexual Assault Examiner curriculum, which comprises a six-day training.  The recommendation for practice in Wisconsin is the completion of six days of didactic and clinical skills training, using educational guidelines established by the International Association of Forensic Nursing (IAFN). Additional recommendations include the completion of clinical examinations, medical-forensic examinations and multi-disciplinary components.


WHAT IS A Forensic Nurse/sexual assault nurse examiner?

Forensic nursing is specialized nursing care that focuses on patient populations affected by violence and trauma - across the lifespan and in diverse practice settings. Forensic nursing includes education, prevention, and detection and treatment of the effects of violence in individuals, families, communities, and populations. Through leadership and inter-professional collaboration, the forensic nurse works to foster and understanding of the health effects, effective interventions, and prevention of violence and trauma in the United States and throughout the world.  (American Nurses Association and International Association of Forensic Nurses. (2017). Forensic Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 2nd Edition. Silver Spring, MD:  ANA and IAFN).





 I. Overview of Forensic Nursing and Sexual Violence

 II. Victim Responses and Crisis Intervention

 III. Collaborating with Community Agencies

 IV. Medicolegal History Taking

 V. Observing and Assessing Physical Examination Findings

 VI. Medicolegal Specimen Collection

 VII. Medicolegal Photography

 VIII. Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing and Prophylaxis

 IX. Pregnancy Testing and Prophylaxis

 X. Medicolegal Documentation

 XI. Discharge and Follow-up Planning

 XII. Courtroom Testimony and Legal Considerations



The WI Department of Justice SANE classes follow the learning objectives and educational guidelines of the International Association of  Forensic Nurses (IAFN) to provide the minimum required training to practice as a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE). The DOJ SANE courses implement the National Protocol for medical forensic exams for adult, adolescent and pediatric victims of abuse published by the US Department of Justice.  The IAFN makes best practice recommendations based on current research.  Once the course is complete, certificates are awarded.  **Nurses are NOT certified at time of course completion. **

For those who wish to become certified as SANEs, please visit www.forensicnurses.org for information on certification eligibility and testing requirements.  


DOJ SANE classes require: ​


1) The SANE course is intended for registered and advanced practice nurses.  The minimum licensure of practice is for registered nurses (RN), however, physician assistants and physicians may also receive SANE training.  


2) A SANE A course completion is a pre-requisite for the Pediatric training.  We do not cover the basic foundation of SANE knowledge in the SANE P course, but that foundation is necessary and is built upon in the SANE P course.  Proof of completion of a SANE A course will be required at registration.  


4) You MUST be present for the entire 46 hours of the SANE A course and entire 40 hours of the SANE P course to be awarded CEUs.  If you miss any portion of either class, the course is NOT complete.  


*No outside observations or recordings are allowed for any portion of SANE Adult or Pediatric SANE courses.


For 2019, the DOJ  will offer 2 more sessions of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Course: 1 Adult Basic SANE and 1 Pediatric Advanced Examiner Training. Completion of a Clinical Skills Lab is a required component of the WI DOJ 40 hour didactic Adult training. All Labs are held at Gundersen Hospital and Medical Center in La Crosse.  46 hours of Continuing Education Credits will be awarded at the completion of the Lab.


Trainings are scheduled as follows:


NOTE:  Due to COVID-19, all classes through June have been canceled.  September and October classes at this time are to be determined.


1) SANE - A: FULL. Closed.

     February 17 - 21, 2020 at Ascension Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in Racine, WI (3801 Spring Street, 53405)

     Clinical Skills Lab - April 30, 2020 - CANCELED



    March 30 - April 3, 2020 at Ascension St Clare's Hospital in Weston, WI (3400 Ministry Pkwy, 54476)

    Clinical Skills Lab - June 11, 2020 - CANCELED


3) SANE - A:  (tentative dates)

    September 14 - 18, 2020 at Gundersen Hospital and Medical Center in La Crosse, WI (1900 South Ave, 54601)

    Clinical Skills Lab - October 1, 2020


4) SANE - P: (tentative dates)

    October 26 - 30, 2020 at Thedacare Regional Medical Center in Appleton, WI (1818 N Meade St, 54911)

    No Clinical Skills Lab for SANE P


Susan Kanack, BSN, RN, SANE-A

State SANE/Forensic Nursing Coordinator

kanacksm@doj.state.wi.us or (608) 264-6214


For questions concerning registration for any of our trainings please contact Leah Varnadoe at varnadoela@doj.state.wi.us or (608) 266-0936.