Nursing Director Jen Morton presents on UNE’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner project at HRSA workforce development seminar

The sexual assault kit used by SANE examiners

On January 27, 2021, Jennifer Morton, D.N.P., M.P.H., PHNA-BC, director of the School of Nursing and Population Health, gave an invited presentation as part of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Workforce Development Tele-Learning seminar series, showcasing UNE’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) project, which was one of two programs selected nationwide as outstanding models for workforce development, recruitment, and retention.

In the fall of 2018, UNE received a $1.5 million HRSA grant to increase the number of nurses in Maine who are trained to respond to allegations of sexual assault. Through the grant, UNE, in collaboration with Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Child and Family Services, refined and developed new models of technology outreach to train nurses to become Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, on-call, licensed practitioners who are contacted to gather forensic evidence and to provide mental health support to those who report an act of sexual assault. UNE was the only institution in New England to receive the award.

Interim Provost and Dean of the Westbrook College of Health Professions Karen Pardue, Ph.D., M.S., RN, CNE, ANEF, congratulated Morton for her leadership on the grant and for her representation of UNE’s SANE program at the national tele-learning seminar. She expressed her belief that the program has provided a great benefit to the state while also enriching UNE’s nursing program and setting apart its graduates.

“While the project is intended to enhance the knowledge and skills of working emergency room nurses in handling victims of sexual assault, this unique content has also been integrated into pre-licensure preparation of our graduates, which distinguishes them in the marketplace,” she stated. “This project is, therefore, positively impacting the preparation of the next generation of nurses, while also enhancing the skillfulness of already practicing registered nurses in the state of Maine.”

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