Professional Toolkit

Providing Abortion Care: A Professional Toolkit for Nurse-Midwives, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants (www.apctoolkit.org) provides an evidence-based organizing framework along with professional competencies and strategies for assessing and/or integrating abortion care into CNM, NP, and PA scope of practice.

Documents

Printable version of this fact sheet (PDF file, 76K)

Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs)

A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) is an individual educated in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery, and who possesses evidence of certification according to the requirements of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Midwifery practice is the independent management of women’s health care, focusing particularly on pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period, and care of the newborn; family planning and gynecology; and common primary care issues. Certified nurse-midwives practice within a health care system that provides for consultation, collaborative management, and/or referral as indicated by the health status of the client. Certified nurse-midwives practice in accordance with the Standards for the Practice of Midwifery, as defined by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.1

Nurse Practitioners (NPs)

A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse with advanced academic and clinical experience, which enables them to diagnose and manage most common and many chronic illnesses, either independently or as part of a health care team. A nurse practitioner provides some care previously offered only by physicians and in most states has the ability to prescribe medications. Working in collaboration with a physician, a nurse practitioner provides high-quality, cost-effective, and individualized care for the lifespan of a patient’s special needs.

NPs focus largely on health maintenance, disease prevention, counseling, and patient education in a wide variety of settings. With a strong emphasis on primary care, nurse practitioners are employed within several specialties, including neonatology, pediatrics, school health, family and adult health, women’s health, mental health, home care, geriatrics, and acute care.2

Physician Assistants (PAs)

Physician assistants (PAs) are health care professionals licensed to practice medicine as part of physician-directed teams. They are educated in accredited graduate-level programs. Physicians may delegate to PAs those medical duties that are within the physician’s scope of practice and the PA’s training and experience. PAs provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services, from primary care to surgical procedures. In their work with physicians, PAs routinely perform physical exams and take patient histories, order and interpret laboratory tests, manage and treat illnesses, assist in surgery, write prescriptions, and provide health education and patient counseling.

What is in the Professional Scope of Practice of CNMs, NPs, and PAs?

  • CNMs provide health care for women throughout their lives. They provide full-scope care during labor and childbirth, and are competent independent providers of prenatal, postpartum, and newborn care; family planning; and gynecological care.
  • CNMs are routinely trained in basic surgical techniques of episiotomy, suturing, and manual removal of the placenta.
  • PAs perform approximately 80% of the duties commonly done by primary care physicians
  • CNMs, NPs, and PAs diagnose and treat common health problems, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and administer medications.3
  • CNMs, NPs, and PAs have prescriptive authority in most states.
  • When appropriately trained, CNMs, PAs, and NPs perform a variety of procedures, such as endometrial biopsy, intra-uterine device placement, and colposcopy.
  • Postgraduate specialty training in anesthesia, surgical assisting, and other advanced procedures, including uterine aspiration, has been an option for members of all three disciplines (depending on state regulations) for many years.

Support for CNMs, NPs, and PAs in Abortion Care

In December 1996, the National Abortion Federation (NAF), with funding from the Kaiser Family Foundation, convened a national symposium to explore how CNMs, NPs, and PAs could participate more fully in abortion service delivery nationwide. The symposium’s key findings and recommendations included:

  • appropriately trained CNMs, NPs, and PAs possess the skills and expertise to provide this safe and routine elective procedure;
  • a very carefully planned state-by-state effort would be needed to overcome legal restrictions limiting the participation of CNMs, NPs, and PAs in abortion service delivery in some states; and
  • education and understanding of all aspects of abortion care, including counseling, pre- and post-abortion care, and abortion techniques must be expanded.4

The largest, most influential and well-respected medical and health policy organizations in the United States have issued statements in support of the inclusion of CNMs, NPs, and PAs in abortion care. In 1994, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stated, “that to address the shortage of health care providers who provide abortions, the College encourages programs to train physicians and other licensed health care professionals to provide abortion services in collaborative settings.”5 Additionally, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the American Medical Women’s Association, the American Public Health Association, the Association of Physician Assistants in Obstetrics and Gynecology, the International Confederation of Midwives, the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, and Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health support the participation of these three professional groups in abortion care provision.* In order to address the lack of access to abortion care and to protect the health and well-being of women of reproductive age, it is essential to increase the number of abortion providers.

CNMs, NPs, and PAs Involvement in Abortion Care

CNMs, NPs, and PAs are involved in all aspects of abortion care. Listed below are some key aspects of abortion care that may be provided by appropriately trained CNMs, NPs, and PAs:

  • provide method-specific counseling and screening;
  • determine gestational age and size using patient historical data, and physical exam, as well as ultrasound diagnosis when indicated;
  • provide medications for the purpose of inducing abortion, and manage the process of medical abortion including collaborative management of complications, as necessary;
  • dilate the cervix;
  • assist with vacuum aspiration and surgical procedures;
  • perform uterine aspiration for purposes of pregnancy termination or management of abortion complications; and
  • provide post-abortion care, including evaluation and collaborative management of complications.

The potential scope of CNM, NP, and PA practice currently varies depending upon each state’s regulations, rather than on capacity, training and competency. Unnecessary obstacles to scope of CNM, NP, and PA practice contribute to the rising costs and inaccessibility of health care including abortion care.6 To expand access to abortion care NAF and Clinicians for Choice (CFC) work with other professional and advocacy groups to increase the number of CNMs, NPs, and PAs who provide medical and surgical abortion.

Acknowledgments

Thank you to the 2005 Clinicians for Choice (CFC) Advisory Committee for contributing to the development of this fact sheet.

Footnotes

* For a complete list of professional organizations’ statements on CNMs, NPs, and PAs in abortion care, please visit the CFC web pages at http://prochoice.org/cfc/.

References

  1. American College of Nurse-Midwives. Definition of Midwifery Practice. June 2004.
  2. Strategies for Expanding Abortion Access: The Role of Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, and Nurse-Midwives in Providing Abortions. Symposium Report. Washington, DC: National Abortion Federation, 1997.
  3. Id.
  4. Id.
  5. Supra n. 2.

For More Information

For unbiased information about abortion and other resources, including financial assistance, call toll-free 1-800-772-9100
Weekdays: 7:00 A.M.-11:00 P.M. Eastern time
Saturdays and Sundays: 9:00 A.M.-9:00 P.M.

For referrals to quality abortion providers call 1-877-257-0012 (no funding assistance provided on this line).
Weekdays: 9:00 A.M. – 9:00 P.M.
Saturday: 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

National Abortion Federation
1090 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005
202-667-5881

Further reading: Strategies for Expanding Abortion Access: The Role of Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, and Nurse-Midwives in Providing Abortions – available online (PDF file, 209K) or order a bound copy

naf@prochoice.org
Clinicians for Choice

Printable version (PDF file, 27K)

Year Actions Expanding CNMs’, NPs’, and PAs’ Provision of Abortion Care
1973 PAs at the Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) in Burlington, Vermont (formerly the Vermont Women’s Health Center) begin providing abortion care. Currently PAs and NPs provide 1st and 2nd trimester abortion care in Vermont and New Hampshire.
1994 The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) obtains a Declaratory Ruling from the New York Department of Health (NYDH) stating that PAs can provide first-trimester abortions in NY under their practice act, despite the state’s physician-only law. The ruling recognizes that the intent of the physician-only requirement and the physician assistant legislation are the same – to provide access to safe medical care. This ruling paved the way for similar research in other states.2
1999 Montana’s prohibition against PAs providing abortion is struck down by the Montana Supreme Court in 1999 in Armstrong v. State. The court holds that the statute violates the right to privacy, because the statute was a disguised attempt to limit patient access to abortion, and the legislation was not justified by a compelling state interest.3
2000 The Rhode Island Department of Health issues new regulations, which allow licensed health care practitioners to provide medical abortion.
2001 Connecticut’s Attorney General issues an official opinion stating that Connecticut law permits APRNs, CNMs, and PAs to provide medical abortions.
2002 California passes the Reproductive Privacy Act, which permits any authorized health care provider to provide medical abortion. The passage of this law is a culmination of years of background preparation by Planned Parenthood Action Committee and California affiliates. This was the first state law to affirm the right of non-physicians in providing abortion care.
2004 The Washington State Attorney General issues an official opinion stating that nothing in State law prohibits NPs from providing medical abortion.The Montana Board of Nursing ruled medication abortion is not outside the scope of practice of WHNPs.
2006 The Oregon State Board of Nursing determines that the performance of manual suction/aspiration abortion is not outside the scope of practice of a Family Nurse Practitioner given that the FNP is both educationally prepared and clinically competent.
2007 The Access through Primary Care (APC) Project (Demonstrating the Role of Advanced Practice Clinicians in Expanding Early Pregnancy Care) provides a legal waiver for the provision of early aspiration abortion by clinicians trained and offering services through the demonstration project.The New Jersey office of the Attorney General releases a favorable opinion regarding the provision of medical abortion by advanced practice nurses, although the ruling applies only to one particular clinic in the state.
2009 The Illinois office of the Attorney General issues an official opinion stating that Illinois law permits NP, CNM, and PAs to provide medical abortions.

Printable fact sheet (PDF file, 96K)

Read what professional organizations are saying about clinicians and choice. These statements and resolutions adopted by professional organizations show support for the increased role of appropriately trained certified nurse-midwives (CNMs), nurse practitioners (NPs), and physician assistants (PAs) in abortion care. For further information, contact cfc@prochoice.org.

American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)*

Policy Adopted by the AAPA House of Delegates, May 1992:

“The AAPA affirms a patient’s right of access to any legal medical treatment or procedure made with the advice and guidance of their health care provider and performed in a licensed hospital or appropriate medical facility.

“The AAPA supports the free exchange of information between the patient and provider and opposes any intrusion into the provider/patient relationship through restrictive informed consent laws, biased patient education or information, or restrictive government requirements of medical facilities.

“The AAPA opposes attempts to restrict the availability of reproductive health care.”

Deposition Statement in Defense of a Challenge to Montana’s “Physician-only” Abortion Law (Doe v. Esch), 1993:

“The AAPA is committed to the principle that a physician assistant should be allowed to perform any medical task, including abortion, delegated by a physician under whose supervision the task will be performed.”

American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM)*

Approved by the Board of Directors, February 3, 1991:

“The ACNM has adopted the following positions:

  • That every woman has the right to make reproductive choices;
  • That every woman has the right to access to factual, unbiased information about reproductive choices, in order to make an informed decision; and
  • That women with limited means should have access to financial resources for their reproductive choices.”

In 1971, the ACNM Board of Directors approved a statement that prohibited CNMs from performing abortions. Twenty years later, in 1991, the ACNM asked its membership whether it wanted to rescind this 1971 statement prohibiting members from performing abortions. Members voted to remove the prohibition. A resolution was approved at the ACNM Annual Meeting recommending that the Board of Directors rescind this statement, thereby allowing individual CNMs to utilize the guidelines for the incorporation of new procedures into nurse-midwifery practice if he/she decides to provide abortions. The vote meant that individual CNMs now have the option to become involved in abortion service provision.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)

Statement of ACOG Executive Board (January 1994):

“That to address the shortage of health care providers who perform abortions, the College encourages programs to train physicians and other licensed health care professionals to provide abortion services in collaborative settings.”

American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)

Position Statement on Abortion and Access to Comprehensive Reproductive Health Services, November 1999

“AMWA will work to increase the number of abortion providers by supporting initiatives to improve and increase training for medical students, residents, and physicians in the full range of abortion procedures, and to add adequately trained Nurse-Midwives, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants to the pool of potential abortion providers.”

American Public Health Association (APHA)

Resolution 9917:

  1. “Supports the provision of first trimester surgical and medical abortion by appropriately trained NPs, CNMs, and PAs;
  2. “Supports efforts to overcome legal and regulatory obstacles which limit the participation of NPs, CNMs, and PAs in abortion;
  3. “Encourages NP, midwifery, and PA education and training programs to provide didactic and clinical training in abortion services, such as options counseling and pre- and post-abortion care, and in abortion techniques, for those who desire such training;
  4. “Urges the inclusion of NPs, CNMs, and PAs in the labeling of medical abortion pharmaceuticals; and
  5. “Urges health professionals to educate themselves, their colleagues, and the public about the skills of NPs, CNMs, and PAs and their competence to provide abortions.”

Resolution 9117:

“Urges medical, nursing and public health schools, residency training programs, and midwifery and physician assistant programs to develop and incorporate materials on the medical need, procedures, and technology, as well as the history and public health aspects of abortion into current curricula.”

Association of Physician Assistants in Obstetrics and Gynecology (APAOG)

Statement of the Association of Physician Assistants in Obstetrics and Gynecology, September 9, 1997:

“In 1992, the Board of Directors of the Association of Physician Assistants in Obstetrics and Gynecology (APAOG) voted to support the policies of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) regarding reproductive health.”

International Confederation of Midwives (ICM)

Position Statement, 2002:

“The International Confederation of Midwives believes that a woman, who has had an abortion, whether spontaneous or induced, is entitled to receive midwifery care. In keeping with this belief, the midwife should:

  • Consider such care to be within the role of the midwife
  • Provide any immediate care necessary following abortion
  • Appropriately refer the woman for any further treatment that may be required and that is beyond the scope of midwifery practice
  • Provide the woman (and where appropriate her family) with education concerning the woman’s future health, including family planning
  • Recognize the emotional, psychological and social support which may be needed by the woman and respond appropriately.”

National Abortion Federation (NAF)

In 1990 NAF and ACOG with the support of the Ford Foundation and the George Gund Foundation conducted a symposium, “Who Will Provide Abortions? Ensuring the Availability of Qualified Practitioners.” The symposium report found that “appropriately trained midlevel clinicians…offer considerable promise for expanding the pool of abortion providers” and recommended training for CNMs, NPs, and PAs.

National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH)*

(Formerly National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Reproductive Health)

Resolution on Nurse Practitioners as Abortion Providers, October 1991

“Whereas, the purpose of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Reproductive Health is to ‘assure quality reproductive health services which guarantee reproductive freedom and to protect and promote the delivery of these services by nurse practitioners’;

“Let it be resolved that NANPRH believes that nurse practitioners, with appropriate preparation and medical collaboration, are qualified to perform abortions.”

Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health (PRCH)

Policy Statement, May 1999:

“Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health(r) endorses the training of physicians, nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants in the provision of abortion services.”

* These organizations have also endorsed the recommendations of NAF’s 1997 symposium report,Strategies for Expanding Abortion Access: The Role of Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, and Nurse-Midwives in Providing AbortionsAvailable online (PDF file, 209K) or order a bound copy.

 

PowerPoints

These PowerPoint slide modules review data and essential points for the provision of early abortion care, including regimens, counseling, patient management, and administrative issues.

USER CERTIFICATION: By following the links below I certify that I have read and agree to be bound by the Read Me/End User License (PDF file, 94K).

Abstracts

Presenting topics on abortion care at professional conferences is a good way to influence your professional community.  If you are interested in submitting an abstract to a professional conference, view the abstract ideas below.  These abstracts have been provided by CFC state contacts.

Printable version of this abstract (PDF file, 20K)
Suggested Outline (PDF file, 18K) to help design your presentation
Questions (PDF file, 15K) you may use as an introductory activity

This document is part of the Clinicians for Choice (CFC) abstract series. This abstract can be submitted as a professional conference workshop proposal. However, CFC does not provide presentation materials. For further information, contact naf@prochoice.org.

Workshop Title

Caring for the Woman with an Unintended Pregnancy: Teaching What Midwives Need to Know

Submitted by: CFC State Contact Kathy Simmonds, NP

Abstract

Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended,1 and the American College of Nurse-Midwives Core Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice include “counseling, clinical interventions and/or referral for unplanned or undesired pregnancies.”2 Despite the frequency with which women experience unintended pregnancies and the fact that their care is recognized as a component of basic midwifery practice, many midwifery educational programs don’t adequately prepare their students to care for these women. Shortages of qualified faculty, lack of teaching materials, and political pressures have all been identified as barriers to including reproductive options education into the curricula of midwifery programs.

This educational session begins with the presentation of background epidemiologic data on unintended pregnancy and its consequences, as well as a theoretical framework for teaching about reproductive options that draws from literature on teaching about sensitive subjects. Participants will then be invited to engage in an interactive discussion about challenges encountered when teaching about reproductive options that will draw on both personal experiences and prepared case studies. Finally, presenters will share strategies and resources that can be used to effectively integrate this important women’s health topic into extant curricula.

A good resource for training materials is the Reproductive Options Education Consortium for Nursing (the ROE Consortium), which is a pilot project that provides training, quality teaching materials, and support to nursing faculty across the United States.

Objectives

At the completion of the presentation, attendees will be able to:

  1. Discuss the incidence and etiologies of unintended pregnancy.
  2. Describe potential barriers to educating midwifery students about reproductive options.
  3. Identify three resources that can be used when incorporating reproductive options into midwifery curricula.

References

  1. Guttmacher Institute. Facts in Brief – Induced Abortion. 2006. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html
  2. American College of Nurse-Midwives. Core Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice. May 2002.

Printable version of this abstract (PDF file, 19K)
Suggested Outline (PDF file, 18K) to help design your presentation
Questions (PDF file, 15K) you may use as an introductory activity

This document is part of the Clinicians for Choice (CFC) abstract series. This abstract can be submitted as a professional conference workshop proposal. However, CFC does not provide presentation materials. For further information, contact naf@prochoice.org.

Workshop Title

Caring for the Woman with an Unintended Pregnancy: Teaching What Nurse Practitioner Students Need to Know

Submitted by: CFC State Contact Kathy Simmonds, NP

Abstract

Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended1. Approximately half of those pregnancies end in a live delivery or miscarriage. The other half end in abortion1,2, making abortion one of the most common surgical procedures in the country.3 Yet, in spite of the frequency with which women experience unintended pregnancies and abortions, many nurse practitioner (NP) programs don’t adequately prepare their students to care for these women. A shortage of qualified faculty, lack of teaching materials, and political pressures have all been identified as barriers to including reproductive options education into the curricula of NP programs.

NPs are intimately involved in providing direct care to women in a wide variety of settings. Because so many women seek health services related to unintended pregnancy, future NPs need to learn about pregnancy options counseling, emergency contraception and abortion as a routine part of their education.

Workshop presenters will provide background epidemiologic data on unintended pregnancy and its consequences, as well as a theoretical framework for teaching about reproductive options that draws from literature on teaching about sensitive subjects. Participants will then be invited to engage in an interactive discussion about challenges encountered when teaching about reproductive options that will draw on both personal experiences and prepared case studies. Finally, presenters will share strategies and resources that can be used to effectively integrate this important women’s health topic into extant curricula.

A good resource for training materials is the Reproductive Options Education Consortium for Nursing (the ROE Consortium), a pilot project that provides training, quality teaching materials, and support to nursing faculty across the United States.

References

  1. Guttmacher Institute. Facts in Brief – Induced Abortion. 2006. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html
  2. Finer LB and Henshaw SK. Abortion incidence and services in the United States in 2000.Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 2003; 35: 6-15.
  3. Henshaw SK, Unintended pregnancy in the United States, Family Planning Perspectives, 1998, 30(1):24-29 & 46.

Printable version of this abstract (PDF file, 16K)

This document is part of the Clinicians for Choice (CFC) abstract series. This abstract can be submitted as a professional conference workshop proposal. However, CFC does not provide presentation materials. For further information, contact naf@prochoice.org.

Workshop Title

The Critical Role of Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Midwives, and Physician Assistants in Abortion Care Provision

Abstract

In addition to physicians, other non-physician health providers play a critical role in ensuring that women have access to abortion. Panelists will discuss the role of nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Midwives, and Physician Assistants in linking and providing women with this essential reproductive health service in different settings and states in the US. Additionally, panelists will discuss the legal/ legislative challenges and successes.

Panelists will also discuss current initiatives (Clinicians for Choice, New Abortion Providers Training Initiative, Reproductive Options Education Consortium for Nursing) designed to reach non-physician health professionals to raise awareness about this critical role, and to provide curricula and training so that they are prepared to meet this health need of their female patients. Clinicians for Choice (CFC) is a membership organization of Nurse Practitioners, Midwives and Physician Assistants.1 The New Abortion Providers Training Initiative (NAPTI) seeks to address the shortage of abortion providers and to expand the scope of practice of advanced-practice and other primary care clinicians to include medical and surgical abortion.2 The Reproductive Options Education Consortium for Nursing (the ROE Consortium)3 is a pilot project that provides training, quality teaching materials, and support to nursing faculty and trainers across the U.S.

References

  1. Clinicians for Choice http://prochoice.org/cfc/
  2. New Abortion Provider Training Initiative
  3. The Reproductive Options Education Consortium for Nursing

Printable version of this abstract (PDF file, 20K)

This document is part of the Clinicians for Choice (CFC) abstract series. This abstract can be submitted as a professional conference workshop proposal. However, CFC does not provide presentation materials. For further information, contact naf@prochoice.org.

Workshop Title

Post-Abortion Care: A Review of the Literature with Implications for Nursing and Midwifery Practice

Submitted by: CFC State Contact Janet Singer, CNM

Abstract

Inadequate post-abortion care (PAC) and complications of unsafe abortion are major contributors to global maternal mortality.1 Ninety-five percent of the twenty million unsafe abortions per year occurring around the globe are conducted in developing countries. The complications from these procedures lead to 80,000 maternal deaths per year, and account for 13% of the global maternal mortality. Post-abortion morbidity affects hundreds of thousands of women each year, and PAC is an essential aspect of life-saving care for women in the developing world. Recommendations from the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development included the provision of safe PAC. In response to this, the International Confederation of Midwives published a policy statement in 1996 affirming commitment to safe PAC.2

The developed world experienced a dramatic decrease in maternal mortality during the 20th century, and the increased availability of safe abortion and post-abortion services was an important factor in this achievement. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States has attributed 89% of the decline in maternal mortality in the third quarter of the twentieth century to the increased availability of safe abortion services.3 However, variations in the legal regulation and availability of abortion services affect women and girls in many countries. In some countries in which abortion is illegal, women routinely travel out of the country in order to obtain needed services. In countries where abortion is legal it may not be available in all regions and women may need to travel a great distance.4 In many cases, women lack continuity to PAC when they return home, and this contributes to decreased use of contraceptive services and repeat unintended pregnancies.

In this presentation, the international literature on PAC will be reviewed. The question of nursing and midwifery’s role in PAC will be discussed with reference to the situations in the Ireland and the United States.

References

  1. Thonneau, PF. Maternal mortality and unsafe abortion: a heavy burden for developing countries. Safe motherhood strategies: a review of the evidence. Studies in Health Services Organization & Policy 2001; 17: 151-174.
  2. International Confederation of Midwives. Care of women post-abortion. 2002.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Healthier mothers and babies – 1900-1999. October 1999. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4838a2.htm
  4. Finer LB, Henshaw S. Abortion incidence and services in the United States in 2000.Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 2003; 35: 6-13.http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3500603.html

Printable version of this abstract (PDF file, 17K)

This document is part of the Clinicians for Choice (CFC) abstract series. This abstract can be submitted as a professional conference workshop proposal. However, CFC does not provide presentation materials. For further information, contact naf@prochoice.org.

Workshop Title

The ROE Consortium for Nursing: An Innovative Program to Increase Reproductive Options Education Curricula in Nursing

Submitted by: CFC State Contact Kathy Simmonds, NP

Abstract

Nurses are intimately involved in providing reproductive health care to women in a wide variety of settings. At times, providing care to these women can be deeply challenging, as professional responsibilities and personal beliefs may come into conflict. Yet, few nursing training programs offer opportunities for their students or trainees to explore the intersection of their professional role and personal beliefs with regard to reproductive options. As a result, nurses may inadvertently provide care that is biased, judgmental, or directive – in short, that does not serve the needs of the patient or uphold her autonomy.

This presentation will describe the Reproductive Options Education Consortium for Nursing (the ROE Consortium),1 a pilot project that provides training, quality teaching materials, and support to nursing faculty and trainers across the United States. The presentation will focus on unintended pregnancy as one example of reproductive options-related care. A theoretical framework for teaching about reproductive options that draws from literature on teaching about sensitive subjects will be discussed, as well as information about resources that are available to assist those who teach or train nurses about reproductive options. Finally, participants will be invited to engage in an interactive exercise that can be used to help nurses better understand the intersection of their personal beliefs and professional responsibilities, and ultimately provide women with the quality reproductive health care that they deserve.

References

  1. The Reproductive Options Education Consortium for Nursing

 

Symposium Reports

Recommendations from the 1996 NAF symposium, “Strategies for Expanding Abortion Access: The Role of Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, and Nurse-Midwives in Providing Abortions” (PDF file, 209K). You can also order a bound copy.

Recommendations from the 1990 NAF symposium, “Who Will Provide Abortion? Ensuring the Availability of Qualified Practitioners.” Order a bound copy.

More NAF resources

NAF provides extensive educational resources about various aspects of abortion care for health care professionals, including continuing medical education opportunities. NAF’s program of accredited continuing medical education is the only one of its kind that is dedicated exclusively to abortion care and includes national conferences, regional trainings, and print and online materials.