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MSU wants to train more nurses to treat survivors of sexual violence

nurse holding patient's hand
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By 2024, Michigan State University wants to double the number of qualified nurses who can assess and treat survivors of sexual violence.

In Michigan, fewer than 200 nurses have their Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner certification. A 1.4 million dollar federal grant is funding a three-year program to bring that training to more nurses around the state.

MSU Professor Rebecca Campbell serves as an adviser to MSU President Samuel Stanley Jr. on relationship violence. She says the state doesn’t have enough of these qualified nurses who can treat and assess survivors of sexual violence.

“We only have currently about 175 nurses in the state of Michigan. And they're not evenly distributed over our 83 counties, we really only have nurses in about 22 of our 83 counties,” Campbell said.

Campbell says the training is trauma-informed to better care for survivors of sexual violence.

“We really need to focus on making sure that survivors and all of those other communities, many of which are rural communities, who don't have access to this kind of health care, that there are nurses in those communities."

The program begins early next year and will train an additional 130 nurses already employed in communities across the state. 

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