Nursing & Medical
Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners/Forensic Nurse Examiners (SAFE/FNE) Programs
In Maryland, Forensic Nurse Examiners (FNEs) work within a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) program in a hospital to complete medical forensic examinations, treat victims for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), and address pregnancy concerns. When FNEs conduct an exam after a sexual assault, the evidence is collected with accuracy and precision, which leads to an increase in cases that will be prosecuted; therefore, more perpetrators will be held accountable and punished for their crimes.
Where they exist, SAFE programs have made a profound difference in the quality of care provided to sexual assault victims. FNEs offer victims prompt, compassionate care and comprehensive forensic evidence collection. In addition to helping preserve the victim’s dignity and reduce psychological trauma, SAFE programs are enhancing evidence collection for more effective investigations and better prosecution. Particularly in non-stranger sexual assaults, which are the majority of sex crimes, thorough documentation of evidence that helps to corroborate a victim’s account of an assault by establishing lack of consent has led to more successful prosecutions.
Note that the Federal VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) 2005 Reauthorization indicates that a victim of sexual assault may obtain a forensic exam free of charge even if they have not chosen to report the crime to law enforcement or participate in a criminal justice investigation.
Becoming an FNE in Maryland
To become a Forensic Nurse Examiner for adults/adolescents, you must complete a 40-hour Board of Nursing Approved training, in addition to 40 hours of clinical rotation requirements. To become an FNE for pediatrics, further in-class training and clinical rotations are required.
Please visit the Maryland Board of Nursing for more information on Maryland State requirements. Also visit the MCASA Calendar for information about upcoming FNE-A and FNE-P trainings.