Survey Reveals Beliefs About Transgender Clients Among Nursing Students


An educational research study reveals positive attitudes and a willingness to provide care among pre-licensure Bachelor of Science nursing students.

Previous research has found that transgender clients may encounter discrimination or differential treatment in some clinical settings. This can be attributed to the fact that while many health care professionals are willing to provide care, they may not have the educational preparation or cultural familiarity to provided competent care for transgender patients.

An education research study presented in a poster session at the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care Conference (ANAC 2019) sought to collect baseline data on pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students related to attitudes, believes, and overall willingness to provide care to transgender clients.

A survey was sent to 245 pre-licensure BSN students enrolled in an adult health nursing course. Survey responses were provided by 56 students, a survey response rate of 23%. The survey included questions on attitudes, beliefs, and which kinds of care respondents were willing to provide to transgender patients. Participants also completed a demographic questionnaire as well as a willingness to provide care checklist on clinical skills covered in their nursing courses such as psychomotor and sexual health counseling.

The majority of respondents were female and almost 25% identified as members of the LGBT community themselves. A third of the participants recalled already providing nursing care to a transgender client as students.

Almost all participants reported positive attitudes and beliefs toward transgender clients, and all participants indicated willingness to provide sexual health counseling including HIV risk reduction and safer sex counseling. A small number of students reported being unwilling to provide genital or anal-related assessments and procedures.

Abstract authors wrote that their results require cautious interpretation due to the small sample size of the study. Despite this caution, they noted that it appears a majority of pre-licensure BSN students were willing to provide nursing care for transgender clients. They recommended further research using a larger sample of students that would include assessments of self-reported competency in working with the transgender community.

The abstract, Pre-licensure BSN Students’ Attitudes, Beliefs, and Willingness to Provide Nursing Care to Transgender Clients: A Pilot Study, was presented in a poster session at ANAC 2019 in Portland, Oregon.

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