Curriculum, education, family planning, nurse practitioner, reproductive health, sexual health



  1. Cappiello, Joyce D. PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP (Associate Professor of Nursing)


Background: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Office of Population Health have published guidelines for providing family planning services.


Purpose: The study explores how nurse practitioners (NPs) perceived their preparation and competency in providing a range of sexual and reproductive health care in their first two years of community-based practice.


Methodological orientation: Qualitative. Thematic analysis used to analyze data from structured and open-ended interview questions.


Sample: Through snowballing recruitment, 35 NPs participated in interviews.


Conclusions: Participants were most confident and likely to provide contraceptive and sexually transmitted infection services. Participants felt less prepared to provide male sexual health and care to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex+ population. Nurse practitioners expressed interest in building skills with discussing healthy sexuality across the life span, specifically postmenopausal sexual concerns, teen sexuality, trauma-informed care related to sexual violence, and early pregnancy decision making. Some participants had little preparation in early pregnancy decision making/options counseling. Faculty need to examine barriers to teaching these skills because the curriculum should address all legal pregnancy options, including discussing the NP's professional obligations. More preparation was needed in the clinical management of erectile dysfunction, polycystic ovary syndrome, herpes, syphilis, abnormal uterine bleeding, dyspareunia, pelvic pain, miscarriage management, and how to discuss prostate cancer screening.


Implications for practice: The recommendations of the quality family planning, with additions, form a sound basis for sexual and reproductive health care standards, education, and clinical practice, should be part of NP education.