In Maryland, Forensic Nurse Examiners (FNEs) work within a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) program in a hospital to complete medical forensic examinations to collect evidence with accuracy and precision and offer victims compassionate, trauma-informed care which helps preserve the victim’s dignity and reduce psychological trauma.
In Maryland, Forensic Nurse Examiners (FNEs) work within a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) program in a hospital to complete medical forensic examinations and provide comprehensive, compassionate medical care. When FNEs conduct an exam after a sexual assault, the evidence is collected with accuracy and precision, which improves the effectiveness of investigations and prosecutions. FNEs offer victims prompt, trauma-informed care which helps preserve the victim’s dignity and reduce psychological trauma.
Many victims may present at hospitals that do not have a SAFE Program. As per House Bill (HB) 963, enacted in the Maryland 2014 Legislative Session, every hospital that provides emergency medical services “shall have a protocol to provide timely access to a sexual assault medical forensic examination by a forensic nurse examiner (FNE) or a physician to a victim of an alleged rape or sexual offense who arrives at the hospital for treatment.” These medical facilities should be aware of the nearest SAFE program in their jurisdiction, contact numbers for these programs, options for transportation, and how to handle patients presenting with emergency medical needs as well as in need of forensic evidence collection.
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.