Jordon Bosse didn’t set out to become a nurse. A decade ago, he was working in HIV and Hepatitis C prevention and education at an AIDS service organization in Maine. During that time, he was also attending Goddard College. For his senior project at Goddard, Jordon conducted research on the risk and protective factors in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ/Q) young people who grew up in the area. Access to healthcare, poor treatment, and treatment refusal came up frequently as topics in his interviews.
“I had been doing a great deal of advocacy work around LGBTQ/Q health with social workers, service providers, reproductive health clinics, etc., but I couldn’t access medical professionals to provide training because I didn’t have any credentials that they cared about,” says Jordon. “So I decided to try nursing school so I could get some beginning credentials and make a difference from the inside of healthcare.”
Joining the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) wasn’t a particular goal of Jordon’s either. He hadn’t even heard of STTI until he was invited to join. One of Jordon’s favorite professors told his class that STTI could offer a variety of resources and opportunities, so Jordon was inducted into the Kappa Zeta-at-Large Chapter while completing his BS program at the University of Southern Maine.
Now a member of Beta Zeta-at-Large Chapter, Jordon is currently a full-time student, a PhD candidate in the College of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts (USA). As part of his program, he also serves as a teaching assistant in undergraduate nursing courses, including Introduction to Nursing Research, this semester.
“I’ve only really become engaged with STTI in the last few years, and I had no idea what I was missing!” says Jordon. Through Beta Zeta, Jordon was awarded a small research grant to conduct “a cross-sectional, correlational study to examine the relations between family cohesion and religiosity on parental rejection in LGBT youth as well as to determine if liberal/conservative religious ideologies moderate the relation between parental religiosity and parental rejection,” an experience which he feels has prepared him well for his dissertation research.
Jordon also had the opportunity to present related research through STTI at the 26th International Nursing Research Congress in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and at the 43rd Biennial Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. There he “found the audiences to be welcoming and hugely supportive of students/early researchers … Because there are fewer of us interested in LGBTQ health, it can feel lonely at times, so knowing there are other nurses out there doing great work helps a lot.”
Jordon recently co-founded a Research Interest Group (RIG) for LGBTQIA Health and Health Disparities through the Eastern Nursing Research Society (ENRS). If you’re on the East Coast and interested in this area of research, check the group out on Facebook, or you can find Jordon on Twitter and Instagram @jbossern.