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The Columbia University School of Nursing recently hosted the first National Nursing LGBTQ Health Summit, drawing deans and other leaders from top nursing schools, representatives of nursing organizations including the American Academy of Nursing and American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the National Institutes of health. The summit was conceived by the Nursing LGBTQ Summit Advisory Board with a focus on advancing nursing’s progress in addressing LGBTQ health issues.

The Summit was the first step toward creating a national health action plan to raise awareness of and improve LGBTQ health. Participants were tasked with mapping out an action plan, and discussing and brainstorming strategies for bringing attention to LGBTQ health within the nursing profession and around nursing education, research, and practice.

Keynote speaker Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, dean of Rutgers University’s School of Public Health, tells, “One in five LGBTQ people do not seek health care because they fear discrimination… Moreover, the interaction between discrimination and other minority stressors—race and ethnicity, poverty, geography, lack of insurance—further drives LGBTQ health disparities.”

Participants identified a need to reduce disparities and improve the health of people who are LGBTQ, which will require support from nursing leadership to increase LGBTQ-specific content in nursing curricula and in faculty development programs, policy development, and nursing research.

Lorraine Frazier, PhD, Dean, Columbia University School of Nursing tells, “We’re here because we share a commitment to health equity, diversity, and the needs of the LGBTQ community and to looking at how we can advance education, clinical programs, research, and policy.”

Nurse leaders ended the summit with a call to action for the nursing community to prioritize LGBTQ health through innovations in education, research, and practice and to advance LGBTQ health policy. Following the summit, attendees will devise a national LGBTQ health action plan focused on the dynamic intersections among nursing education, research, and practice, as well as a forum allowing participants to network and plan future collaborations. 

To learn more about the first national LGBTQ health summit hosted by Columbia Nursing, visit here.

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