Document Type



Doctor of Nursing Practice



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Dr. Rick Yakimo


Dr. Nancy Magnuson

Dr. Zoe Peterson


Objective: This study sought to identify education and training needs of university health service providers regarding transgender patient care. Transgender patients are a vulnerable population who tend to have negative health outcomes. Limited information exists regarding transgender patients and their providers at student university health services nationally.

Methods: The researcher conducted a one hour semi-structured focus group with the professional staff at a Midwestern state university health service. The focus group conversation was guided by a list of prepared questions but other issues were allowed to arise. Two readers qualitatively analyzed the focus group transcripts for predominant themes.

Participants: The professional staff attending the focus group consisted of two nurse practitioners, two licensed professional counselors, and two counseling psychologists.

Results: Five themes emerged from the focus group data that summarized provider concerns: range of gender identity issues, socioeconomic factors, healthcare provider limitations, specialty care needs, and gender inclusive data collection issues.

Conclusions: Specific provider needs derived from the themes included: advanced workshops on the care of transgender individuals; elaborated gender identity data collection; reliable referral networks for sensitive patient situations; and increasing collaboration between counseling and other health services with outreach and additional training opportunities. Culturally sensitive care will likely improve health outcomes for transgender patients.

Available for download on Tuesday, July 17, 2018