The World Health Organisation defines sexual health as
“…a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled” (WHO, 2006)
Sexual health influences the quality of life of adults at all stages of their progression from adolescence to old age. The Scottish Government identifies sexual health as a priority in its Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Framework. Thus nurses in all areas of health care will benefit from an understanding of the role sexual health has to play in the well being of their clients.
A career in sexual and reproductive health nursing offers an excellent opportunity to combine clinical skills with a public health and health promotion focus in a dynamic area of health care.
The links on this page provide further information on the career structure for sexual health nurses, nursing competencies in sexual health and HEI based sexual health education.