Purpose: To examine perceived knowledge and clinical comfort with genetics among Taiwanese undergraduate nursing students. Information about the integration of genetics into the nursing curriculum was also assessed.
Design: A descriptive, cross-sectional study.
Methods: A self-report survey designed to assess perceived knowledge and clinical comfort with genetics was distributed to 501 Taiwanese undergraduate nursing students; 434 returned the completed survey. The survey also included questions concerning the integration of genetics in the nursing curriculum. Descriptive statistics and a one-way analysis of variance were used for data analysis.
Findings: Perceptions of genetic knowledge differed significantly among the different levels of nursing students; juniors had the highest genetic knowledge mean scores, followed by seniors, sophomores, and freshmen. Juniors also reported receiving the greatest number of hours of genetic content in lecture. Clinical comfort with genetics did not vary significantly among the different levels of nursing students. The majority of nursing students considered lectures to be the most effective method for learning genetic information.
Conclusions: Findings reinforced evidence that perceived knowledge and clinical comfort with genetics among Taiwanese undergraduate nursing students are limited. It is imperative for practicing nurses and nursing students to promote the use of genetic information and technologies as a central science in the context of health care. More effort must be made to integrate genetic content into the Taiwanese nursing school curricula.
Clinical Relevance: With the increasing pace of the genomic revolution, nursing students are required to integrate genetic information into the art of nursing practice with the goal of promoting the health of individuals, families, and communities.