Views of Black Nurses Toward Genetic Research and Testing


  • Yolanda M. Powell-Young PhD, PCNS-BC,

    Corresponding author
    • Gamma, Visiting Professor, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA and Associate Professor, Dillard University, New Orleans, LA, USA
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  • Ida J. Spruill PhD, LISW, FAAN

    1. Gamma Omicron, Assistant Professor, Medical University South Carolina, College of Nursing, Charleston, SC, USA
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Dr. Yolanda M. Powell-Young, Dillard University, 2601 Gentilly Blvd., Stern 100-B, New Orleans, LA 70122.




To describe views and beliefs that Black nurses hold regarding several conceptual areas of genetic research and testing.


Data were generated using a descriptive, cross-sectional design. The sample consisted of 384 Black nurses attending the 2009 annual conference of the National Black Nurses Association in Las Vegas, Nevada.


The chi-squared test was used to evaluate group differences by education level, functional area, age, and gender.


One half of the Black nurses surveyed believed the potential for the discriminative misuse of genetic information against minority populations exists. However, 84% of these nurses believed the possibility of information misuse should not be used as a barrier to participation in genetic research and testing by the Black populace.


Black nurses expressed concerns about the potential for discriminatory use of genetic information gleaned from research and testing. Yet, Black nurses recognize the importance of racial-ethnic minority participation in genetic research and testing.

Clinical Relevance

Participation in genetic research and testing by diverse populations will provide opportunities to improve the healthcare delivery system and aid the eradication of health disparities. More research is needed to clarify factors that contribute to the bifurcation of importance for participation, reluctance to participate, and what interventions might reduce reluctance.