The Emergency Nurses Association recently released a statement congratulating the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate for including language in the National Defense Authorization Act that provides for the increased presence of sexual assault nurse examiners in the military to treat victims of sexual assault and ensure forensic evidence is properly collected.
The National Defense Authorization Act was approved by the House on Dec. 12 by a vote of 350-69 and the Senate on Dec. 19 by an 85-19 margin. The bill was signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 26.
The act includes language supported by ENA that requires the assignment of at least one full-time sexual assault nurse examiner to each military medical facility in which an emergency department operates 24 hours per day. Additional SANEs may be assigned based on the demographics of the patients who utilize a medical facility.
In addition, the provision specifies that SANEs assigned to military facilities must meet the training and certification requirements set by the Secretary of Defense.
I am very pleased that the House and Senate have included this bipartisan legislation that will ensure that highly-trained nurses will now be available to provide treatment to sexual assault victims in our military, 2013 ENA President JoAnn Lazarus, RN, MSN, CEN, said in a news release. The requirement that each 24-hour military medical facility be staffed by at least one sexual assault nurse examiner is an important step in improving the medical care provided to victims.
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