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Illinois Officials to Address Lack of Sexual Assault Nurses

The Illinois Attorney General's Office is working with state lawmakers to draft legislation that would require hospitals to have a specially trained medical provider available to examine a sexual assault victim.

According to a report, of the nearly 200,000 registered nurses in Illinois, only 32 are certified by the International Association of Forensic Nurses to work with adult sexual assault patients. A dozen of the sexual assault nurse examiners are certified to treat children. 

The draft legislation would require hospitals to implement the change by 2023.

But the Illinois Health and Hospital Association says that it would be impossible to train so many nurses by then.  

The state Department of Public Health says nearly 4,500 patients sought treatment in emergency rooms for alleged, suspected or confirmed sexual assault in 2016. 

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