National shortage of forensic nurses frustrates rape victims

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A nationwide shortage of sexual assault nurse examiners means that rape victims are often forced to drive from hospital to hospital to find someone trained to examine them. A 2016 national study of six selected states found they did not meet the need for exams, particularly in rural areas.

A 2019 study showed that in Virginia, only 16 out of 122 licensed hospitals provide sexual assault forensic exams. Only about 150 of the state’s 94,000 registered nurses are credentialed forensic nurses.

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