Transgender and gender diverse health education for future nurses: Students' knowledge and attitudes

Elsevier, Nurse Education Today, Volume 97, February 2021
Sherman A.D.F., McDowell A., Clark K.D., Balthazar M., Klepper M., Bower K.
Background: Compared to cisgender peers, transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people experience significant health disparities associated with discrimination and limited access to appropriate care in healthcare settings. Nurses represent the largest segment of the United States (US) healthcare workforce; however, US nursing programs only dedicate approximately 2.12 h to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and TGD (LGBT)-related content. Objectives/design/setting/participants: To fill the gap in TGD-related nursing education, the Transgender Curriculum Integration Project (TCIP) developed and integrated an evidence-based curriculum specific to TGD health into the pre-licensure accelerated Bachelor's in Nursing Science (BSN) program at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. The purpose of this study was to assess the preliminary efficacy and feasibility (i.e., attrition, engagement, acceptability) of the TCIP in improving the TGD-related health knowledge and attitudes among a sample of pre-licensure nursing students. Methods: TCIP utilized a self-administered online survey to assess students' knowledge and attitudes about TGD health prior to (time point 1) and following (time points 2 and 3) the integration of TGD-specific content into five nursing pre-licensure courses. Rank-based nonparametric testing using Kruskal-Wallis H and Mann-Whitney U were conducted to determine if there were statistically significant differences in responses between the three time points. Thematic content analysis was used to determine themes present among short answers. Results: Findings indicate TGD-specific content improved student's gender sensitivity overtime, with improvements in self-reported skills in providing care for TGD people and knowledge of additional TGD-specific resources. However, gender sensitivity remains low among student's and students requested more TGD content suggesting room for further improvement. Conclusions: Findings support the efficacy of TCIP and highlight complexities of curricular change that can guide future curricular integration and evaluation in nursing programs nation-wide.