The researchers received responses from 941 of 1253 surveys sent. Responses demonstrated that nurses have experience caring for LGBT patients; however, knowledge gaps were evident. Of the respondents, 86% reported experience caring for patients who identify as lesbian, gay, and bisexual, and 31% reported caring for transgender patients. 

Respondents who were non-Christian, female assigned at birth, identified as a sexual minority, and had friends or family who identified as LGBT were more likely to have higher knowledge scores. These nurses were also more open to communication with sexual and gender minorities.

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Despite their familiarity with this patient population, however, less than 5% of nurses answered all the knowledge items correctly, noted Chasity Walters, PhD, RN. “yet this same population had more favorable beliefs about sexual orientation, gender identity in general, as well as care of sexual minorities,” explained Dr Walters.

The researchers concluded that nurses have a need for training in LGBT patient care and are willing to increase their knowledge of this patient group. Furthermore, the responses help direct the content and structure of that training.

Next steps include disseminating these results and to continue training to increase knowledge, and develop and test communication skills training. 


Walters C, Banerjee S, Staley J, Haviland K. Nurses’ knowledge, beliefs, and skills toward LGBT patients. Oral presentation at: ONS 43rd Annual Congress; June 17-20, 2018; Washington, DC.