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REGISTERED NURSES’ ATTITUDES TOWARD THE PROTECTION OF GAYS AND - page 126 / 161

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decision, instructors might reiterate the principle of autonomy, which mandates registered nurses respect the decisions made by clients regardless of the personal attitudinal beliefs of the nurse (Potter & Perry, 2005).

With a critical ratio value of 3.61, a negative correlation between interpersonal contact with gay men and/or lesbians as friends and/or family members and homophobia was suggested in the analysis. This has a great implication for nursing education in that nursing students should be exposed to a diverse client base in the completion of their clinical courses. This exposure can be incorporated beyond the acute care setting. Community outreach programs designed to provide services to gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender persons is one contact source for students. In addition, community-based nursing education (CBNE) programs may opt to create community nursing centers (CNCs) in geographical areas with a dominant GLBT population. CNCs in such areas could introduce students to GLBT clients who could directly benefit from outreach services CNCs help to provide (Wink, 2001; Kiehl & Wink, 2000) while enriching the clinical diversity of the clinical interactions of student nurses.

This study also put forth numerous implications for the field of public administration and the preparation of public servants. Two social justice theoretical frameworks were provided to help guide the study. John Rawls’ Theory of Social Justice was used to illustrate the importance of workplace protections for gays and lesbians and was also used to help

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