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

Other CFC abstracts:
> Caring for the Woman with an Unintended Pregnancy: Teaching What Midwives Need to Know
> The Critical Role of Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Midwives, and Physician Assistants in Abortion Care Provision
> Post-Abortion Care: A Review of the Literature with Implications for Nursing and Midwifery Practice
> The ROE Consortium for Nursing: An Innovative Program to Increase Reproductive Options Education Curricula in Nursing

Printable version of this abstract (PDF file, 19K)

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


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. Visit http://www.abortionaccess.org/viewpages.php?id=202


  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.

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