Nursing summit

2017 GLMA Nursing Summit – 1 Week from Today!

Yes — just one more week and the only gathering specifically for, about and by LGBTQ nurses and our allies is happening in St. Louis!  It is happening next week on Wednesday September 14 at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark . You can see the planned program here!  Online registration is no longer available, but if you find that you can join glma_-_conferenceus, come on to St. Louis and you can register on Wednesday morning at the conference. The evening of the 14th is the opening reception for the GLMA conference, which offers amazing educational and inspirational programming for all healthcare providers, and more opportunities to network with LGBTQ colleagues from all healthcare disciplines.

Everyone who attends the Summit will have an experience of a lifetime – a whole day when our focus derives from, and fully expresses, the health concerns of LGBTQ people and their families.  In addition, we will explores ways that we can improve nursing care and the environment for LGBTQ people who enter healthcare situations either as patients or providers.

But the most important dimension of the Nursing Summit is simply the experience of being there, networking with friends and colleagues, meeting new people who share our concerns and taking whatever actions we can to improve nursing and health care for LGBTQ people.

If you can’t join us, subscribe to this blog, where we will share all sorts of information about the Summit, and will provide opportunities for everyone to become involved.  We will definitely post information about the dates and location of next year’s Summit – so that hopefully you can start planning now to be part of this important movement!  So stay tuned – these is much more to come!

Tonda Hughes to Keynote the 2016 Nursing Summit

GLMA Nursing Summit will be all day September 14, 2016 in St. Louis!  The GLMA Conference opens the evening of the 14th, with all of the fabulous programming through September 17th.  See the details for the conference here!

The 2016 GLMA Nursing Summit keynote speaker, Tonda Hughes, PhD, RN, FAAN will be sharing her experiences in developing her outstanding research career focusing on sexual minority women.  Her talk is titled “From gay bars to marriage equality: The evolution of research on sexual minority women’s health from one researcher’s perspective.” Dr. Hughes is Professor and Associate Dean for Global Health, College of Nursing, University of Illinois – Chicago, Research Director, UIC National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, and Co-Director, UIC Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH).

The theme of the 2016 Nursing Summit is: “Challenges of Advancing LGBTQ Health in Nursing: Finding Your Way.” The day will feature:

  • Opportunities to learn about initiatives in nursing education, practice, research and policy
  • Networking with activists engaged in advancing LGBTQ health in nursing
  • Celebration of past accomplishments, and the potential for making change in nursing and healthcare to improve LGBQ health!

Watch this blog and our website to see the details as they emerge!  We hope you will plan to join us! Questions? Go to our online contact form!

Nursing Summit 2015 – a Great Success!

Our 2015 Nursing Summit was a great success – many thanks to the leadership of Caitlin Stover, who worked tirelessly throughout the months ahead to make sure this happened! Her planning team included Michele McKelvey, Kelli Dunham, Madelyne Greene, Pamela Lin, Eileen Glover, Rob Carroll, Jose Pares-Avila, Sarah Sanders, Mary Foley, Emily Kane-Lee, Pamela Levesque, Amy Wilson-Stronks and Alison McManus.  The 2014-15 leadership team lent support along the way, as well as members of the GLMA staff who orchestrated the GLMA Conference.  Portland, Oregon was a beautiful, interesting and very welcoming city – everywhere we went we heard comments of delight that we were together, sharing interesting ideas, supporting one another, and learning on many levels.

We will be posting many more details of the outcomes of the Summit during the next several weeks, but for now I want to be sure everyone knows our new leadership team for 2015-2016.  Below is a photograph of the newly elected team that was taken by our 6 member – Mary Foley, our Past Chair who will be on our leadership team for the coming year as well!  I have included Mary’s photo from last year!  Shown seated, Peggy Chinn (Recorder) and Michael Johnson (Chair).  Standing L to R: Caitlin Stover (Chair-Elect), Ralph Klotzbaugh (Budget Officer), Natalie Paul (Student Representative from Vanderbilt University).


And with great appreciation for her contributions in launching our Nursing Section: MaryMary-Foley Foley, Past-Chair!

New book to check out if you are writing for publication!

I am thrilled to announce that this new book that Leslie Nicoll and I wrote is now available for Kindle – Writing in the Digital Age: Savvy Publishing for Healthcare Professionals! It is also available from in a format for iBook, Google Play, etc.  Nook will Cover Nicoll Chinnhave it soon!    Here is how the publisher describes the book:

If you are an author, or aspire to be one, writing for publication in today’s digital age means you are likely a “digital immigrant,” confronted at every turn with new and unexpected technology and electronic innovations. Writing in the Digital Age: Savvy Publishing for Healthcare Professionals is a valuable resource to orient you to the rapid evolution of digital writing. Practical, readable, and very accessible, the book includes guidelines, resources, and tips and tricks that you can put to use immediately to be a successful author in today’s quickly changing digital environment. Added features include “think about it” exercises, historical tidbits, and questions for discussion. Dr. Nicoll and Dr. Chinn share their combined love of technology with their writing, publishing, and editing expertise to help demystify the processes of digital writing and publishing. They explain what is changing and what is staying the same, and how you can use this knowledge to successfully write within today’s modern digital environment!

But we are eager to hear your feedback about the book!  So check it out and let us know!

Reflections on LGBTQ Nursing History

Until the first GLMA Nursing Summit in Denver in 2013, there was no space where we could openly and proudly convene together, and discuss issues related to our own lives, much less our concerns for the broader area of LGBTQ health – a topic still rarely mentioned in any nursing context (although this is getting better!).  But we were always “there” – eagerly watching for any signals to indicate there were other LGBTQ nurses around, and treading very lightly to see if we could exchange signals that indeed we were connected by our still-“secret” identities!  I recall going to nursing conventions and conferences, where the unspoken “hidden” lesbian (sometimes inclusive of gay men) gathering was happening in the conference hotel lobby and/or bar.  The group was easily identifiable – women mostly in typical nursing-convention attire, with a few actually wearing comfortable walking shoes, and a scattering of two-somes who, when you looked closely, carried matching handbags, or the same shoes, or some other attire that marked them as a couple.  But most notable was this group of nurses were raucously enjoying being together!  Our identities were never openly acknowledged, and our straight friends who would stop by to say “hi” did so discreetly, perhaps striking up a brief conversation about good places to eat near the hotel (we always knew the layout of good eateries better than most!).  Of course anyone was welcome to join us, and occasionally someone who was not known to any of the group would do so, only to very uncomfortably withdraw when the palpable intensity of our connections and friendships became too overwhelming.

From time to time several of us would fantasize being able to have our own organization – we knew there was at one time a group of gay men who were organized, but they were difficult to locate and connect with, and besides, most of us were not brave enough to openly disclose our interest in such a project.  A few of us came close when we established Cassandra: Radical Feminist Nurses Network, but our tensions around being lesbian-identified were more enormous than we realized at the time – a topic Elizabeth Berrey and I recently wrote about in an article for Sinister Wisdom (Chinn, Peggy L & Berrey, Elizabeth R (2014) Cassandra: Lesbian (non)Presence in Nursing. Sinister Wisdom, 92, (Spring), 50-64).  

But now here we are in 2015 – already building a history of LGBTQ nurses coming together, along with our fabulous straight friends and allies who are more than willing – eager – to join with us in celebrating our identities openly and joining in the important work of addressing the health needs of LGBTQ people everywhere!  I am so excited to see everyone who can be in Portland for our Summit this year!  And I know that there are dozens of others who cannot be there in person, but will be with us in spirit!  We have important work to do, but we also have an urgent need to come together to make the cultural and social changes in nursing and health care not only for those we serve, but indeed, for ourselves!  Our own growth and healing has taken a new turn, and we are indeed beginning to flourish!  More power to us!

Ready for some action?

Since the GLMA Nursing Section was established at the GLMA conference last fall, a number of our members have laid a foundation for moving forward with several important action projects.  After all, we are nurses – we get things done!

One of our achievements during the past year was preparing the Workplace Climate Scale Project, which provides a tool for nurses to use to overcome homophobia and discrimination in the workplace using a positive approach that defines characteristics of an LGBTQ-affirming workplace environment.  The Patient Care Workgroup has produced a poster that can be used in break rooms and units to highlight LGBTQ inclusion in their care. At the Summit, the Education Workgroup will begin the work of LGBT Competencies for Nurses, similar to what AAMC did, They have a representative from AAMC to help strategize and move forward!  The Research workgroup has a number of projects underway, including a plan to evaluate the Workplace Climate Project.  The Policy workgroup will continue their project to work with nursing organizations to develop LGBTQ anti-discrimination policies.  

Each of the workgroups developed specific goals that they will be building on during the 2015 Summit!  To learn more, visit the Workgroup page on our web site and follow the links to each of the workgroups.  If you can be at the Summit, you will be able to join a workgroup in person.  If you cannot be there, each workgroup page has a contact form so you can be in touch with the workgroup leader now, and be part of the action!

Education workgroup planning an important Summit agenda!

Caitlin Stover, the leader of the Education Workgroup, let me know that they will begin the work of LGBT Competencies for Nurses, similar to what AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) did.  Caitlin has a representative from AAMC coming to help strategize and move forward with … she will co run the session with Caitlin!  Plan to be there if you can!  If you want to be sure to connect with this initiative (even if you cannot come to the Summit) send a message using the contact form for the Education Workgroup!