The Global Landscape of Nursing and Genomics

Kathleen A. Calzone, Maggie Kirk, Emma Tonkin, Laurie Badzek, Caroline Benjamin, Anna Middleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Purpose: Nurses have a pivotal role in bringing the benefits of genomics and precision medicine to everyday health care, but a concerted global effort is needed to transform nursing policy and practice to address widely acknowledged deficits in nurses’ genomic literacy. The purpose was to conduct a global country and organization review of nursing engagement with genomics, informing a landscape analysis to assess readiness for integration of genomics into nursing. Design: Global nursing leaders and nursing organizations were recruited using a purposive sampling strategy to complete an online survey that assessed the scope of genomic integration in practice and education, challenges and barriers, and priorities for action. Methods: The survey was administered online following an orientation webinar. Given the small numbers of nurse leaders globally, results were analyzed and presented descriptively. Findings: Delegates consisted of 23 nurse leaders from across the world. Genomic services were offered predominantly in specialty centers consisting mostly of newborn screening (15/18) and prenatal screening (11/18). Genomic literacy and infrastructure deficits were identified in both practice and education settings, with only one country reporting a genetic/genomic knowledge and skill requirement to practice as a general nurse. Conclusions: These data provide insights into the commitment to and capacity for nursing to integrate genomics, revealing common themes and challenges associated with adoption of genomic health services and integration into practice, education, and policy. Such insights offer valuable context and baseline information to guide the activities of a new Global Genomics Nursing Alliance (G2NA). The G2NA will use the landscaping exercise as a springboard to explore how to accelerate the integration of genomics into nursing healthcare. Clinical Relevance: Genomics is relevant to all healthcare providers across the healthcare continuum. It provides an underpinning for understanding health, risks for and manifestations of disease, therapeutic decisions, development of new therapies, and responses to interventions. Harnessing the benefits of genomics to improve health and care outcomes and reduce costs is a global nursing challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-256
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Nursing


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