The increasing recognition regarding the relevance of genomics across the scope of nursing healthcare practice has resulted in the drive to integrate appropriate genomic knowledge and skills into nurse education and training. In this final article of the series Genetics-Genomics and Nursing Education, we will look at genetic and genomic education resources and the factors that influence both their creation and use.
In considering nurse education from faculty and student perspectives, four identified areas of need have been used as the organizing constructs: guidance (what should be taught and at what level of complexity); support and training; access to genetics professionals and service users; and quality resources. This paper sets out to address the following points: (a) why there is a need for quality genomics education resources to support nurse education; (b) what is required from a resource to make it "useful" for the user; and (c) how the quality and impact of a resource can be measured. While not exhaustive, information is provided to a number of globally accessible resources, along with detailed descriptions of selected teaching or learning tools. Strategies for evaluating the suitability of a resource and suggestions on how genomic resources can be used within nurse education are provided.
The use of clinically relevant resources that link theory to professional practice and which meet predefined learning outcomes and practice indicators for nurse education and training will facilitate the integration of genomics into curricula by nurse faculty.
Providing clinically meaningful education and training in genomics is central to enabling every nurse to develop the appropriate knowledge and skills in genomics in order to provide optimum care to individuals and families now, and to facilitate the integration of new information and technology as it becomes available across mainstream healthcare services.
"However, genetic nursing provision and knowledge is still lacking both at national and international level (Kirk et al. 2011). Nurses are the largest health professional group and are pivotal in helping to transform health care through genomic nursing (Tonkin et al. 2011). Nurse opinion leaders (OLs) globally could have a crucial role to play influencing change in practice, therefore insights into their characteristics in the context of genetics in health care could be of value. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AimTo identify the characteristics of nurses opinion leaders in the context of genetics in health care and consider the findings for the integration of genetics in nursing practice.Background
Nurses need a basic understanding of the role genetics plays in their practice and about how best to support patients using genetic knowledge. Opinion leaders have been used previously to incorporate change initiatives and increase educational application. Identifying the characteristics of nurse opinion leaders may aid the engagement and continued integration of genetics into nursing practice.DesignA primarily quantitative approach over two phases, using online surveys conducted during 2011.Method
This article focuses on Phase 2 of a wider study. Oncology and primary care nurses were surveyed to identify the characteristics and demographic indicators of nurse opinion leaders. Tests for data normality followed by the suitable test for group comparison was applied with significance level set at <0·05.ResultsNineteen respondents (n = 19/88; 21·6%) were categorized as opinion leaders and two subgroups were identified: Genetic Opinion Leaders and Opinion Leaders with an Interest in Genetics. Seven characteristics were deemed statistically significant (Mann–Whitney, Chi-Square, t-test) in identifying nurse opinion leaders, including being open to experience and having a perceived level of influence over others.Conclusion
The identified characteristics could be used to enhance the integration of genetics into nursing practice through the use of opinion leaders. Further thought needs to be given to the refinement of the identified characteristics and to the use of such a unique group of nurses.
"The editors of this issue appreciate that some of this content is complex, so you may need to seek additional resources. We refer you to the JNS 2011 Genomic Education Series, which concluded with an article on genomic resources for nursing education (Tonkin, Calzone, Jenkins, Lea, & Prows, 2011 "
"In their review, Tonkin et al. (2011) note the growing abundance of genomic resources for nurse education but acknowledge that finding the most appropriate resource can be taxing. A survey of nurse educators (Kirk and Tonkin, 2006) reported the three highest ranked resources needed to support genetics teaching as: "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Advances in genetics are bringing unprecedented opportunities for understanding health and disease, developing new therapies and changes in healthcare practice. Many nurses and midwives lack competence and confidence in integrating genetics into professional practice.
One approach to enhance understanding of genetics is to simulate clinical exposure through storytelling. Stories are acknowledged as a powerful learning tool, being understandable and memorable, stimulating critical thinking, and linking theory to practice. Telling Stories, Understanding Real Life Genetics is a freely accessible website that sets people's stories within an education framework. The links between the stories and professional practice are made explicit and additional features support learning and teaching.
Care of the storytellers within an ethical framework is of paramount importance. Storytellers are viewed as partners in the project. The challenges encountered include preserving the authentic voice and dignity of the storyteller. Project team members have also experienced ‘professional shame’ when negative experiences have been recounted, and the stories have had an impact on the team.
The experience of working with storytellers has been positive. The storytellers want to be heard so that others will benefit from their stories. They serve as a reminder of why this work is important.
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