Engaging Nurses in Genetics: The Strategic Approach of the NHS National Genetics Education and Development Centre

NHS National Genetics Education and Development Centre, Faculty of Health, Sport and Science, University of Glamorgan, Glyntaf Campus, Pontypridd, Mid Glamorgan, UK.
Journal of Genetic Counseling (Impact Factor: 2.24). 05/2008; 17(2):180-8. DOI: 10.1007/s10897-007-9127-y
Source: PubMed


The UK government announced the establishment of an NHS National Genetics Education and Development Centre in its Genetics White Paper. The Centre aims to lead and coordinate developments to enhance genetics literacy of health professionals. The nursing program takes a strategic approach based on Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior, using the UK nursing genetics competences as the platform for development. The program team uses innovative approaches to raise awareness of the relevance of genetics, working collaboratively with policy stakeholders, as key agents of change in promoting competence. Providing practical help in preparing learning and teaching resources lends further encouragement. Evaluation of the program is dependent on gathering baseline data, and the program has been informed by an education needs analysis. The challenges faced are substantial and necessitate international collaboration where expertise and resources can be shared to produce a global system of influence to facilitate the engagement of non-genetic nurses.

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Available from: Emma Tonkin, Oct 04, 2015
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    • "The greatest barrier to the incorporation of genetics into practice is the lack of perceived relevance to practice (Kirk et al. 2008). However , there is a marked deficit in genetics education, in pre-registration and postregistration nursing training (Kirk et al. 2007, Gharaibeh et al. 2010). In the UK, there has been no mandatory education requirement for nurses in relation to genetics or genomics. "
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    ABSTRACT: To identify the characteristics of nurses who are using genetics in practice and consider the implications of the findings for optimizing its wider uptake. Nurses are crucial in realizing the benefits from advances in genetic and genomic health care. Although many recognize genetics as an important component of disease, most feel unprepared to engage with it in practice. The Diffusion of Innovation theory provides a useful framework to describe different levels of engagement. Identifying the characteristics of nurses who have engaged with genetics (adopters) may provide insights of relevance to promoting wider adoption. A primarily quantitative approach over two phases, using online surveys conducted during 2011. In phase 1, consensus (>75%) was sought from experts in genetics and nursing on four potential Indicators of Genetic Adoption could identify nurses who have adopted genetics. In phase 2, oncology and primary care nurses were surveyed to identify the characteristics and demographic indicators of genetic nurse adopters. A consensus was achieved to include all Indicators of Genetic Adoption (phase 1). In phase 2, 27·3% of respondents (n = 24/88) were categorized as being adopters. Eighteen characteristics were determined to be statistically significant (Mann-Whitney) in defining an adopter and included being open to experience and being more knowledgeable of and confident in using genetics. Nurses can be categorized in terms of their engagement with genetics through several distinguishing characteristics. Further research is needed to test the generalizability of the findings to a larger sample and other areas of nursing practice.
    Journal of Advanced Nursing 09/2013; 70(4). DOI:10.1111/jan.12255 · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    • "Since this time to the present, the website has received over 33,100 visits with approximately 167,000 page views from over 150 countries/territories worldwide. These data are being utilised to understand how individuals are using the site, inform site development in order to reflect the changing needs of users and inform strategies to continue to promote the site amongst the intended target audiences (Kirk et al., 2008). This particular aspect of the resource will be the subject of a separate paper. "
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    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.
    Nurse education today 12/2011; 33(5). DOI:10.1016/j.nedt.2011.11.019 · 1.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The National Health Service (NHS) National Genetics Education and Development Centre was established by the Department of Health in 2004 to help drive and co-ordinate genetics education for health professionals working outside specialist genetic services. This paper reviews the experiences and lessons learned to date. At the outset, it was clear that understanding the learning ethos, preferred delivery methods and attitudes towards genetics of different NHS healthcare groups was vital. We collected evidence by undertaking needs assessments with educators, practitioners and patients. We have determined the genetics knowledge, skills and attitudes which they said were needed and translated these into learning outcomes and workforce competences in a continuum of education. Beginning with core concepts introduced (and examined) pre-registration, the continuum continues with development of concepts post-registration as appropriate for role, leading to practical application and assessment of competences in the workplace. These are supported by a portfolio of resources which draw heavily on patient based scenarios to demonstrate to staff that genetics is relevant to their work, and to convince educators and policy makers that genetic education is likely to result in real clinical benefit. A long term educational policy, inclusive of learners, educationalists and their institutions must be evidence based, flexible and responsive to changes in workforce structure, provision of clinical services and conceptual and financial commitments to education. The engagement of national policy, regulatory and professional bodies is vital (
    Journal of Genetic Counseling 05/2008; 17(2):161-9. DOI:10.1007/s10897-007-9144-x · 2.24 Impact Factor
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