Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning nurses' experiences in the workplace.

Published: July 1, 2011

Abstract

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) nurses constitute one of the largest subgroups within the profession of nursing, yet there is very little empirical research in the nursing literature and virtually no attention to issues of discrimination and exclusion in the workplace by nursing education or professional nursing organizations. This study reports the findings of an online survey of 261 LGBTQ nurses from a database of an LGBTQ health advocacy organization. The survey contained both quantitative and qualitative items and revealed that many workplaces lacked policies and procedures that would make LGBTQ nurses feel safer and more included and that many coworkers, supervisors, and patients had exhibited discriminatory behavior or verbal harassment, sometimes leading to significant consequences for the LGBTQ worker. LGBTQ nurses expressed a need for a professional organization that would educate the nursing profession and the general population about LGBTQ issues and address their advocacy and health care policy needs. Efforts to correct the current workplace climate for LGBTQ employees would involve (a) changes in workplace policies, (b) education of the health care workforce, and (c) advocacy from nursing professional organizations.

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