• genetic nursing;
  • advanced practice nurses

Purpose: To describe characteristics and professional roles of genetics nurses in advanced practice.

Design: A cross-sectional descriptive survey administered in 2004 as one component of a comprehensive study of genetic services and the health workforce. The sample was 211 U.S. members of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics.

Methods: The survey included demographic characteristics, education, credentials, professional roles, and attitudes about genetic healthcare issues.

Findings: The majority of respondents had master's degrees and many had earned doctorates in nursing (20%) or other fields (12%). Thirty-one percent were certified as nurse practitioners; 57% provided direct patient care, with the largest percentage working in genetics (26%) or oncology (22%) settings. Over one-third were educators and 19% conducted genome-related research.

Conclusions: Genetics nurses in advanced practice in the US focus on both genomic discoveries and clinical health care through the application of genomic knowledge into health care, research, and nursing education.