"The hospital where Sharita Godwin works in central North Carolina doesn’t have any Black nurses trained in administering forensic exams to sexual assault victims.
She’s aiming to become the first one.
Last week, Godwin joined seven other nurses from across the region at Fayetteville State University, as part of the historically Black school’s first class for aspiring sexual assault nurse examiners. The program, which took place over a couple of multiday sessions this fall, trained nurses to treat patients in crisis, including collecting forensic evidence for law enforcement and preventing sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy.
Godwin, an emergency room nurse at Betsy Johnson Hospital in Dunn, North Carolina, for the past eight years, said she wanted to become certified in sexual assault exams as a way of supporting some of the most vulnerable patients the hospital treats.
'It makes you feel a little bit more comfortable,' Godwin, 36, said of patients seeing a nurse who looks like them. 'The patient might be more willing to open up.”'