RCM School of Nursing Staff

Dr. Leyra Figueroa, Prof. Irma Vázquez, and Prof. Felix Román

The School of Nursing of the Medical Sciences Campus (RCM) of the University of Puerto Rico announced today the creation of the Enfe 5225 course - Health care aimed at individuals and families of the LGBTQ+ community. The course will also promote inter-professional learning, as it can be taken by students from the six schools that make up the RCM.

As such, the RCM's School of Nursing becomes the first in Puerto Rico to offer this type of course to undergraduate and graduate students.

The course, which marks a historic milestone in the academy and the training of health professionals on the island, was developed by Dr. Leyra Figueroa, Dean of Academic Affairs of the School of Nursing; Prof. Irma Vazquez, Dean of Student Affairs of the School of Nursing, and Prof. Felix Román, Director of the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies and of the School of Nursing of the RCM. It also featured the participation of community activist Alejandro Santiago Calderón.

"Our School is committed to providing an educational experience of excellence and pioneering in Nursing Sciences. The Faculty of Nursing is highly qualified with expertise in various areas of specialization. It stands out for its dedication, leadership and futuristic attitude to face the new challenges demanded by Higher Education," said Dr. Suane Sánchez, Dean of the School of Nursing.

According to Prof. Román, “people from the LGBTQ+ community are an undeniable part of Puerto Rican society. Despite the fact that this group constitutes a quantitatively and qualitatively relevant social group in our country, sexual orientation and gender identity are not included in the majority of national health statistics and studies. Therefore, little is known about the health needs, problems and inequalities of the LGBTQ+ population in Puerto Rico. That is why one of the goals of this course is focused on improving the health, safety, and well-being of LGBTQ+ people."

"Every nursing professional must offer culturally congruent care, defend the rights of LGBTQ+ people, proactively contribute to reducing health inequalities, and increase the quality of care for individuals, families, and communities. Usually, the specific health needs of the LGBTQ+ population are insufficiently known or even ignored by authorities and health professionals," Dr. Figueroa added.

This course also seeks to train professionals who provide culturally competent care.

"We are very proud to be able to develop this academic alternative. This course aims to promote that LGBTQ+ people can enjoy a long life and quality of life. This requires a specific approach from information, research, services and training of health professionals; as well as the administrations in charge of public health," Prof. Vázquez affirmed.

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