School systems are often not set up to support transgender and gender diverse (TGD) students, which results in unsafe and unsupportive environments and other institutional barriers to helping TGD students thrive. An important factor to students' feeling safe and supported in schools may be their relationship with school nurses. The purpose of this study was to describe school nurses' experiences working with TGD students and their parents/guardians, their role in working with this community, and the challenges nurses face when trying to serve TGD students. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 23 school nurses across a Midwestern state. Thematic analysis was used to identify themes: gender-affirming education and interpersonal collaboration, bridging the gap between TGD youth and parents/guardians, gender-affirming care and confidentiality, and navigating parental acceptance and gender-affirmation. School nurses expressed a strong desire to support TGD students but lack the structure and training within schools.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the GHR Innovative Scholarship Grant and the Glen Taylor Nursing Institute for Family and Society.
© The Author(s) 2021.
- nursing education
- qualitative research