Posted: November 23, 2015

Open the Door for LGBTQ Patients


Too often, LGBTQ patients, families, and healthcare workers experience discriminatory treatment, neglect, mistrust, and harassment. Diversity efforts in healthcare have expanded to address racial/ethnic diversity, age, social class, and disability status, but have only rarely considered the needs of LGBTQ people and communities. When nurses aren't knowledgeable about LGBTQ issues, they may render their patients invisible, dismiss their same-sex partners as "friends" rather than life partners, operate based on the stereotypes about LGBTQ people they learned as youth, and provide inappropriate care. Many nurses aren't familiar with the terminology used to refer to LGBTQ individuals and community, so the first step is knowing the right terms to use. This article offers practical information on terminology related to LGBTQ issues and provides nurses with key resources to facilitate continuing education. Please note that you must complete the free registration to access the test section of the resource at this link, To access the related course for ANCC Credit, please click here: For more instruction on LGBTQ healthcare please view the eBook, LGBTQ Cultures: What Healthcare Professionals Need to Know About Sexual and Gender Diversity, please click here:


LGBT, Gender, Stigma, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, LGBTQ, Sexual Orientation, Sex, Homosexual, Sexuality, Queer, Same-Sex Partners, Sexual Identities, Sexual Attraction


Lippincott Nursing Center

Michele J. Eliason, PhD, San Francisco State University

Peggy Chinn, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of Connecticut, School of Nursing

Suzanne L. Dibble, DNSc, RN, University of California San Francisco, School of Nursing

Jeanna DeJoseph, CNM, PhD, University of California San Francisco