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Reflections on experience researching LGBT health

Our current featured article titled “Enhancing our Understanding of Emancipatory Nursing: A Reflection on the Use of Critical Feminist Methodologies” by Judith Ann MacDonnell, PhD, RN, provides a rare glimpse in to the life of a researcher.  Dr. MacDonnell’s reflections are particularly significant given the focus on her scholarship – LGBT health.  Dr. MacDonnell shared this message for ANS readers, addressing how her article emerged, and the importance of this work for nursing education:

In my experience, there are just a few detailed research reflections in the published nursing literature. The idea for writing a reflection on my LGBT- and equity-focused research program came to me as I was going through the tenure process, a time when (it would be fair to

Judith MacDonnell

Judith MacDonnell

say) there’s lots of reflection and writing about what you have done, why you have done it and where you are going.    Using emancipatory nursing as a lens was the opportunity to move beyond this individual focus in an iterative way, situating these experiences in the larger contexts of higher education, the profession and the social landscape, opening space to consider what it might take to build LGBT-focused nursing research.

I expect many of us would agree that a nursing curriculum focus on cultural competence that is inclusive of LGBT issues is crucial.  Another approach to embed LGBT content in the curriculum is to expand nursing students’ exposure to and engagement with diverse critical feminist methodologies and LGBT-focused research in both nursing research and clinical courses at both the undergrad and graduate levels.. Framing in-class or clinical discussions with an emancipatory nursing lens may help broaden students’ understandings of the potential within diverse nursing  roles to identify injustices and take action. Highlighting how dimensions of emancipatory nursing are embedded in such research (e.g., praxis, situated privilege) may spark discussions of nurses’ everyday political practice and opportunities for nurses to open space to challenge heterosexism, biphobia, transphobia (and how they intersect with racialization, ableism, etc.)  in education, administration, direct clinical practice, research or policy arenas.

While this article is featured on the ANS web site, you can download it at not cost!  Take this opportunity to obtain you copy, and return here to share your comments and enter into a discussion about the issues addressed in this article!

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