Date of Award
Dr. Barbara Blake
Dr. Regina Dorman
Dr. Marilyn King
Purpose: To identify whether or not homophobia and heterosexism were present among students participating in a Bachelor’s of Science nursing program.
Design: A quantitative, descriptive, and non-experimental design was used.
Methods: The study employed a convenience sample of 245 nursing students recruited from a university’s nursing program located in the southeastern United States. Data collection and analysis took place from September 2013 to October 2013 and was accomplished using SPSS version 21 software package.
Results: Homophobia and heterosexism were both present in the sample. Levels of heterosexism were significantly higher than levels of homophobia. There was no relationship between student grade level and levels of homophobia or heterosexism.
Conclusion: As future nurses, nursing students must be prepared to offer culturally appropriate care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) patients. Attitudes of heterosexism and homophobia create barriers to providing such care. While evidence suggests homophobia in health care is declining, heterosexism remains prevalent and negatively impacts LGBT patients. To mitigate this impact, nurses must develop culturally sensitive attitudes toward LGBT persons. By incorporating LGBT-health related content into nursing curricula, nurse educators can facilitate the development of cultural sensitivity and prepare their students to give quality nursing care to LGBT persons.