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The preparation of child health nurses in sexual health education: An exploratory study.

Johnston, Jaqueline H


Jaqueline H Johnston


There are very high rates of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections in the teenage population in Scotland. The Scottish Government recommends that child health nurses working alongside education professionals should be addressing these issues. The aim of this study was to explore the nature, type and experience of educational provision student nurses gain during their undergraduate programme to help them deal effectively with the sexual health needs of children and young people with whom they are involved.

Thirteen students from two third year cohorts of a child health pre-registration nursing programme took part in this qualitative, phenomenological study. Focus groups (n = 2) were undertaken to gather data and to develop emerging themes. Four themes are reported: “greater knowledge and expectations” “variation in practice affects the variety of experience” “sexual health should be part of the role” and “need to be better prepared”.

The students reported on their previous experiences of sex education and about differences in practice whilst out on a variety of placements. Most of the students believed that delivering sexual health education to young people was the nurse’s role however there appeared to be a consensus that they did not have sufficient knowledge of sexual health to achieve this.


Johnston, J. H. (2009). The preparation of child health nurses in sexual health education: An exploratory study. Nurse Education Today, 29, 845-849. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2009.03.011

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 31, 2009
Publication Date 2009
Deposit Date Nov 10, 2015
Print ISSN 0260-6917
Electronic ISSN 1532-2793
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Pages 845-849
Keywords Sex education; Nursing; Children and young people;
Nurse education;
Public URL
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