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Implications for Educating the Next Generation of Nurses on Genetics and Genomics in the 21st Century

Authors


Correspondence
Dale Halsey Lea, FBR – Genetics, P.O. Box 190, 8 Science Park Road, Scarborough, ME 04070-0190. E-mail: dlea@maine.rr.com

Abstract

Purpose: To provide nurse educators with an updated overview of advances in genetics and genomics in the context of the holistic perspective of nursing.

Organizing Framework: Recent advances in genetic and genomic research, testing, therapies, and resources are presented, and the continuing importance of the family history is discussed.

Methods: Genomic nurse experts reviewed recent literature and consumer resources to elucidate updates in technology through the lens of the genetically vulnerable patient and family.

Findings: Genetic and genomic technologies are becoming routinely used in health care, and nurse educators will be challenged to incorporate these technologies and implications for patients and families into educational programs.

Conclusions: New technology and its applications are perennial challenges to nurse educators, but the common focus for nursing, historically and geographically, is health promotion, symptom management, and disease prevention. Education for the next generation of nurses can lay a foundation in genetics and genomics that will enable interpretation and responsible integration of new technologies in a context of individual and family value systems, personal experiences, risk perception, decision consequences, and available resources.

Clinical Relevance: Nurses are ideally situated to inform patients about new options in healthcare, and nurse educators are challenged to prepare their students to interpret andresponsibly integrate new genetic-genomic information into practice.

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