Nurses and the Genomic Revolution

National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, 31 Center Drive, Building 31, Room 4B09, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
Journal of Nursing Scholarship (Impact Factor: 1.64). 02/2005; 37(2):98-101. DOI: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.2005.00020.x
Source: PubMed


To increase nurses' genetics and genomics literacy through a series of articles focused on genomic research discoveries and their importance for nursing education, practice, policy, and research.
"Genomics for Health " is one of three themes, along with genomes to biology and genomes to society, emanating from applications of the Human Genome Project (HGP).
In this series of articles, nurse scientists who are experts in genetics and genomics sciences explain terminology, provide background information about the HGP, discuss clinical examples, and recommend changes in nursing practice, education, and research.
The HGP has already led to major changes in clinical practice, research, education, and policy, and even more dramatic changes are predicted for people throughout the world. Mastering this information is necessary for nurses globally because genomic information will ultimately pervade all of health care.

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    • "The final strategic report, " Fit for Practice in the Genetics Era " (Kirk et al., 2003), outlines a way forward for health-care genetics education, but important decisions still need to be taken regarding how to implement the competencies in existing curricula. Jenkins et al. (2005) and Lea and Monsen (2003) both have called for a strategy to enhance genetic literacy among nurses as a matter of urgency. Studies by Monsen et al. (2000) and by Tsujino et al. (2003) reported a lack of genetics content in nursing textbooks (particularly with regard to the role of the nurse), indicating that the topic is given a very low priority in these resources. "
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    ABSTRACT: Health-care professionals need an appropriate genetics knowledge base to care for patients and their families. However, studies have indicated that nurses and midwives lack the requisite genetics knowledge to practice effectively and safely, with a paucity of resources to address their educational needs. This paper describes an action research study aimed at developing an online genetics resource for students and practitioners in a range of health professions. A literature review of current health-care genetics education was undertaken. In the first phase of the action cycle, a sample of nurses and midwives were surveyed using a questionnaire to discover their perceived learning needs and the acceptability of an e-learning approach. Using the findings, an online resource for health professionals was developed, by means of a life stage structure to expedite accessibility. The developmental process leading to the construction of clinical case studies in this resource (including theory, ethical, and practical issues) and the evaluation strategy are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2007 · Nursing and Health Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: This article describes how an outcome evaluation model was used for a 1-day continuing education conference focusing on genomics implications for nursing practice. Findings from this evaluation process are described, including results from subjects who participated in surveys prior to the conference (n = 119), immediately after the conference (n = 119), and 3 months after the conference (n = 59). Significant differences in overall genomics knowledge were measured before and immediately after the conference and these gains were maintained 3 months following the conference. There also was evidence that the conference participants used the information gained through continuing education to transform their nursing practice. This model can be used to evaluate continuing education, especially with newer knowledge such as genomics.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2007 · The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing
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    ABSTRACT: Nowhere is the influence of genetics more extensively seen than in medicine. More precise diagnostic testing, prevention methods, and risk counseling have resulted from recent decades of genetics research, including the Human Genome Project (HGP). The expansion in genetics knowledge and related technologies will drive a major paradigm shift from diagnosis and treatment to preventive medicine. Resulting from this predicted shift are educational challenges for healthcare professionals including both physicians and nurses. The largest group of healthcare providers is registered professional nurses whose work allows a unique and holistic view of patients and families, often caring for patients throughout the life span. Nurses need to understand basic genetic concepts including the role of genes in common diseases, to identify individuals at risk through the collection of informed family histories, to provide information about genetic testing and informed consent, and to know when and how to make appropriate referrals to genetic specialists. The purpose of this study was to expand the clinical application and use of genetic principles in patient management and care. To do this, a survey of South Carolina nursing educators from twenty two nursing programs was conducted to determine the extent of genetic content in the curriculum. The second part of the study was teaching a semester course in human genetics to undergraduate nursing students, a need identified in the literature review and supported by results of the nursing programs survey. Through the use of clinical case studies, PBL activities, and "shrink wrapped" lectures, all congruent with the constructivist viewpoint of learning, student's objective post-intervention measurements indicated significant improvement in content knowledge with an effect size of 1.6 and significant improvement in their ability to analyze and draw the family history in a pedigree format. An attitudinal tool used to assess student preferences of teaching approaches indicated preference for all three constructivist methods over traditional lecture.
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