In Maryland, Forensic Nurse Examiners (FNEs) work within a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) program at select hospitals. Specially-trained FNEs complete medical forensic examinations to collect important evidence and provide comprehensive, compassionate, trauma-informed medical care. Evidence collected during a SAFE by FNEs is collected with accuracy and precision, thereby increasing the effectiveness of investigations and prosecutions. FNEs offer victims prompt, trauma-informed care which helps preserve the victim’s dignity and reduce psychological trauma.

If you need information about receiving medical care after a sexual assault, please click here for a list of Maryland hospitals that perform SAFEs.

Not all hospitals have a SAFE Program.  However, 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. 

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. Visit the MCASA calendar for information about upcoming FNE-A and FNE-P trainings. If you have any questions about upcoming FNE-A and FNE-P trainings in Maryland, please email [email protected].

For those interested in quarterly updates regarding FNE-A and FNE-P job postings and new local and virtual training opportunities, please reach out to [email protected] to sign up for our quarterly Forensic Nurse Examiner newsletter.

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