Journal Article

Student nurses’ competence in sexual health care: A literature review


Aims and objectives. To explore the way in which sexual health care is perceived and experienced by students in clinical practice. Background. Student nurses understand the need to learn about sexual health but report a variety of learning needs and experience challenges acquiring skills to deliver such care in part due to varied clinical experience. Furthermore, there is a paucity of data exploring clinical competence of sexual health care among student nurses. Design and methods. A literature review of the published literature was conducted following a search of online databases. Articles were selected for analysis according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. Eight articles were critically appraised and thematically analysed. Results. The following themes were identified: student nurses report having a positive attitude towards sexual health care; however, many felt uncomfortable about addressing sexual health and are reluctant to initiate a conversation; many student nurses lack knowledge about sexual health; they also lack role models at university and on clinical placement. Student nurse caregiving in relation to sexual health was also noted. Conclusions. It is encouraging that student nurses have some knowledge, but their knowledge assessed is narrow. Their attitude is generally positive although many feel uncomfortable discussing issues of sexual health and sexuality. Very few student nurses report delivering sexual health care. There is a lack of positive role models both on clinical placement and at university.

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Blakey, Emma Pascale
Aveyard, Helen

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Nursing


Year of publication: 2017
Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-09-25

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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