A writing assignment to address gaps in the nursing curriculum regarding health issues of LGBT+ populations.Nurs Forum. 2019 Apr; 54(2):198-204.NF
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) populations account for 4% of the US population, yet health disparities persist, which are considered a priority in health care systems. In nursing education programs, the allotment in time to cover LGBT+ health content is not mandated thus ranges from zero to several hours total in nursing curricula. Therefore, nursing students' education regarding LGBT+ health issues remains minimal and inconsistent throughout the nation's nursing programs.
To provide associate degree nursing students with exposure to the health disparities in LGBT+ populations through a reflective writing assignment.
The essays were culled from both sections of an established core course in the nursing curriculum, which was taught by both faculty. Using a retrospective content analysis approach, the essays from 61 associate degree nursing students were read and reread by both authors. Similar statements were grouped together and themes emerged for both authors.
The content analysis from the students' essays, which exposed the students to LGBT+ health issues, yielded intriguing and encouraging data. Four themes regarding LGBT+ health emerged from the students' essays: (1) communication, (2) advocacy, (3) increased knowledge and awareness, and (4) empathy development.
Such results suggested that a reflective writing assignment was beneficial for nursing students and exposed and familiarized them with the disparities of LGBT+ populations. Through an analysis of the students' essay contents, the two faculty researchers were able to identify improved knowledge and awareness from the writing assignment.