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.