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Happy Pride Month: advocating for the LBTQ+ community in healthcare

As we celebrate Pride Month this June, we wanted to highlight some resources to help support nursing advocacy of LGBTQ+ patients' access to healthcare.

Executive Director of National Nurses United Bonnie Castillo wrote in 2019 about the importance of RNs advocating for all people, acknowledging the positive impacts on health that social acceptance, support, and agency can have for LGBTQ+ patients.

"The month of June is a time to celebrate pride, but nurses will honor and advocate for the health and safety of our LGBTQ+ communities each and every day." - Bonnie Castillo

In 2018, the American Nurses Association released their position statement on Nursing Advocacy for LGBTQ+ Populations: "Persistent societal stigma, ongoing discrimination, and denial of civil and human rights impede individuals' self-determination and access to needed health care services, leading to negative health outcomes including increased morbidity and mortality.

Nurses must deliver culturally congruent, safe care and advocate for LGBTQ+ populations." - American Nurses Association

The LGBTQ+ community continues to face the stigma and discrimination cited three years ago by the ANA. The transgender community in particular, estimated at 1.4 million people in the United States, face limitless barriers to accessing vital, gender-affirming healthcare. New England Public Media's show, And Another Thing, recently aired this feature examining their local trans healthcare and state policies on transgender rights.

It is also important that LGBTQ+ topics are incorporated into nursing curricula. Check out this piece written by a Nursing PhD student highlighting this gap in education. John Hopkins School of Nursing is also hosting a free virtual event on June 22 to talk about the progress of a working group systematically evaluating how the JHSON MSN (Entry into Nursing) program's required textbooks present and rationalize the health of underrepresented racial, ethnic, and LGBTQ+ groups.

To the LGBTQ+ community, our team wishes you a Happy Pride Month, and as Christina Granucci, a registered nurse of Northern California, said to Bonnie Castillo:

“We are there for you, we are advocating for you, and we support you.”

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