Fellowships for LGBT-Focused Community Health Nursing

  1. I am currently in an accelerated BSN program and hope to pursue community or public health nursing after graduation. I previously worked in public health as an educator (primarily with injection drug users, the HIV+ population, and the LGBT community in the deep South). I'd ultimately like to pursue a a Nurse Practitioner degree, but want to gain experience first. I have a Master's degree, and published research in my previous career, and would love to find a position where I could assist with community health research and publications. I currently work part-time conducting interviews with injection drug users for a CDC project called the National HIV/AIDs Behavioral Surveillance Program. I'm willing to relocate anywhere in the US. Where would be a good place to start in terms of pursuing this path? Do community health or public health nursing fellowships exist? Is specializing in LGBT community health a possibility for a new graduate?

    Thank you so much for your time and thoughts!
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    About Bowie21

    Joined: Nov '14; Posts: 15; Likes: 15

    5 Comments

  3. by   HouTx
    Sorry you haven't received more responses. It could be that I'm not the only one that is confused by your post.

    Nursing jobs are normally categorized by level of care (acute, ambulatory, etc), patient population (cardiac, neuro, peds, etc) and in some cased, technology, (e.g., dialysis, genetic counseling, IVF) .... . But I don't know of any instance in which any of the categories are organized by sexual preference.

    I would imagine that there are very limited circumstances where one's sexual preference would actually direct the course of healthcare services in terms of nursing scope of practice. The only thing I can come up with would be behavioral health focusing on disorders related to sexual preference/identity. Maybe working with transgender pre & post-surgical patients? I'm sure that there are wiser folks here on AN that could provide more insight.
  4. by   Rose_Queen
    I think your best bet may be looking at a health center dedicated to or strongly in support of LGBT rights. I do know that Fenway Health in Boston is an LGBT focused health center. Perhaps through there or other LGBT advocate groups you can find what you're looking for. There's also Mazzoni Center in Philadelphia, San Francisco has something, and I'm sure other cities with a larger LGBT population may have LGBT focused health centers.
  5. by   Bowie21
    Hi there HouTx! Thanks so much for your response. I recognize it is sort of a niche question, and didn't have any expectations about replies.

    So, LGBT health is an exciting and expanding area of research interest at a number of universities (Duke, UCSF, Penn, Columbia, and others) due to poor health outcomes among the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community. There are a myriad of reasons for this, but a big one is stigma, including from medical professionals. While, as you note, LGBT health doesn't fit into the hospital care or technology categories mentioned, knowledge about sexual and gender identity can be helpful when doing STD screenings, or asking questions about sexual history, and providing education about sexual health. Due to this, I am trying to figure out if there might be public health or community health fellowships working with the LGBT population specifically. There are a few such organizations around the country, some associated with universities. I appreciate the idea of focusing on transgender pre and post-op care. I didn't think about that as an option.

    While you suggested behavioral health, I can't think of how that might work as homosexuality was removed from the DSM in 1973. Gender dysphoria diagnosis was substantially changed in the 2013 DSM to reflect that only individuals with distress about their gender identity would be classified as such. In other words, being transgender in itself is no longer considered a mental illness.

    Thanks so much for your response. I'm thinking that, once I practice for a few years, pursuing my NP at one of the universities mentioned above might be the best way forward.
  6. by   Bowie21
    Hi Rose_Queen. Thanks for your response. I think Fenway Health is great. Their publications are very useful for national stats on LGBT health outcomes. I'll check out the Mazzoni Center in Philly. San Fransisco has some great options associated with UCSF. One in particular is the Center for Transgender Excellence. I did a health care professionals training with them and it changed the way I do my HIV, STD, and HepC counseling and testing. There's also the Howard Brown Health Center and the Center on Halsted in Chicago as possibilities. I think they are both now FQHCs. There's not a lot in the South, which makes me think that it might make sense to gain some experience in a city in the West or East coasts and then come back down South. I thought a community health or public health fellowship might be the best way to do that, although it might make more sense to focus on getting into an NP program that has a focus LGBT health sooner rather than later.

    Thanks again!
  7. by   jmiles22
    Hi Bowie21,

    It's been a few years, but I was wondering if you found any jobs that you were looking for. I'm graduating this spring from an entry level MSN program, but I won't be an ARNP. I'm looking to work with LGBT populations and helping to provide equitable care. Did you end up going through to an NP program? Any tips on where to look would be awesome! Thanks!

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