Nurse practitioners knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy for working with transgender patients

Pamela J. Levesque


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people experience distinct health disparities and are one of the largest underserved populations in any nursing setting. Transgender health has been the subject of relatively little health research, particularly within the nursing community. Studies investigating nursing’s knowledge and attitudes towards LGBT persons suggest a gap that can affect the access and quality of care for transgender patients. The purpose of this pilot descriptive study was to explore nurse practitioner knowledge, attitudes and self-efficacy in caring for transgender persons; those whose gender identity and/or gender expression does not fit their gender assigned at birth (natal gender). Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy was used as the theoretical framework. Using a sample of nurse practitioners (n=416) that provided email addresses to a nurse practitioner association questionnaires were delivered electronically which were designed to measure knowledge, attitude and self-efficacy for providing transgender health care. Twenty-six completed surveys were returned. The results indicated that the majority of the respondents’ state “full respect” and “acceptance” towards transgender patients while also reporting low self-efficacy for providing care. All respondents report no transgender content during their nurse practitioner education. Implications from this study suggest that nurse practitioners hold attitudes that promote culturally competent care while knowledge and self-efficacy are potential areas of need. Further clinical research is needed investigating nurse practitioner knowledge, attitude and self-efficacy on a larger scale while also investigating gender and sexual minority content in nursing educational programs.

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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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