Integrating LGBTQ Content Into Nursing Curricula

Integrating LGBTQ Content Into Nursing Curricula

The call for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) cultural sensitivity in nursing is not new. In 2011, the JCAHO and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) called for LGBTQ cultural competency as a condition of facility accreditation and CMS reimbursement. Review of nursing curricula to identify and strategically fill gaps in LGBTQ content is needed. Research suggests that undergraduate nursing students hold negative attitudes and beliefs that make them feel uncomfortable about providing care to LGBTQ patients (Eliason & Raheim, 2000; Sirota, 2013). Consequently, effective LGBTQ cultural sensitivity training of nursing students will require more than information. Promoting LGBTQ knowledge, experiential skills, and interpersonal competencies will be critical to ensure that future nurses provide high-quality, sensitive care.

Session Objectives
Following this session, participants will be able to:

  • Explain LGBTQ terminology and symbols and differentiate the different identities
  • Describe nurse and system-based facilitators and barriers to health in LGBTQ patients
  • Identify four areas of possible LGBTQ content placement in the undergraduate curriculum.


Laura Hein

Laura C. Hein, PhD, RN, FAAN, is an Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina. Her current work focuses on improving LGBTQ health through federal health policy. She is co-chair of the Academy’s LGBTQ Expert Panel and is a Board appointee to the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Dr. Hein was pivotal in leading the Academy to expand its Diversity and Inclusion statement to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Through her work as co-chair, she petitioned the Academy to be co-signatories to amicus briefs, to issue statements supporting transgender health and transgender service members, and support for retaining section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Hein serves on the Board of Directors of GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, a national interprofessional organization of healthcare professionals. Through her board service with GLMA, she works to build collaborative relationships with other organizations that support LGBTQ health equity. Locally, she serves on the Advisory Board of the Harriet Hancock LGBT Center in Columbia, S.C.