Clinical Practice

Resources for nurses to improve their clinical practice in sexual and reproductive health and abortion care.

Sexual Health Fundamentals for Nurses

January, 26 2017

The tools nurses need to start a dialogue with patients about STIs, menstruation, sexuality and sexual health

Sexual Health Fundamentals Series —

Learning tools for nurses from the Association of Reproductive Health Professionalssexual health fundamentals female sexuality fact sheet

The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) is an interdisciplinary organization of health care professionals including nurses who are dedicated to evidence-based practice, training and education in sexual and reproductive health. ARHP’s clinical fact sheets provide concise, focused information on a variety of topics for both providers and patients. The Sexual Health Fundamentals series offers an excellent introduction to sexuality and female sexual health that may be of interest to nurses and nursing students. ARHP fact sheets are open-access.

Recommended sexual health fact sheets and handbooks:

You may also be interested in ARHP’s more in-depth reproductive health curriculum: Curricula Organizer for Reproductive Health Education (CORE)

Sexual health and STI educational materials for nurses and other healthcare providers —

Learning tools for nurses from the American Sexual Health Association

The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) has developed a number of sexual health and STI/STD educational materials for nurses and other healthcare providers. ASHA’s “Sexual Health: Resources for Healthcare Providers” gives an overview of the importance of discussing sexual health with patients and features a collection of relevant external resources. The site includes a video from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrating a patient-provider dialogue with a young patient about sexual health, which may be of particular interest to nurses who work with adolescents and emerging adults.

ASHA also offers clear, detailed information for patients, parents and teachers across several websites, as well as television and podcast series, “Sex+Health” and “Sexual Health TV.”

Recommended topic areas:

Sexual Health and Your Patients: a Provider’s Guide —

sexual health and your patients providers guideToolkit for nurses from the National Coalition for Sexual Health

Nurses seeking to learn how to ask and respond to sexual health questions, normalize sexuality discussions, and explain sexual health screening tests may find this resource helpful. Published in 2016 by the National Coalition for Sexual Health, Sexual Health and Your Patients: a Provider’s Guide can help nurses and other clinicians incorporate sexual health discussions and prevention services into their practice. The guide was originally intended for primary care providers, but is useful to nurses and healthcare providers in many settings.

The National Coalition for Sexual Health also maintains the Sexual Health Resource Exchange (SHRE), a “web-based resource library that provides access to high quality, accurate, multi-media public awareness and education materials on sexually transmitted infections and other sexual health issues.”

Sexual Health and Public Health in America —

jama network sexual health and public healthA call for a comprehensive sexual health framework from the Journal of the American Medical Association

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Viewpoint article published in 2015 calls for a fundamental change in the approach to sexual health as a key to improving morbidity and mortality in the U.S. The authors, including former Surgeon General David Satcher, MD, PhD, seek to shift the sexual health framework from disease control and prevention to include wellness, health-promotion, positive relationships and acknowledgement of the role of sexual health in overall health. Nurses will serve an essential role in incorporating these changes into clinical practice.