Nurses at forefront of genomics in healthcare

February 1, 2013

On April 14, 2003 a map of the human genome was completed, ushering in a new era of genetics in medicine with applications that include genetic testing; newborn screening; susceptibility to diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, or psychiatric conditions; screening, diagnosis and monitoring of disease; and treatment planning. A special Genomics Issue, including an evidence review by researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), published by Wiley in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship on behalf of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, addresses these genetic applications that are essential to advancing nursing knowledge and patient care.

"With nurses at the forefront of clinical care, their understanding of genomics and genetic applications is important to enhancing healthcare and improving patient outcomes," said Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Susan Gennaro RN, DSN, FAAN, Dean and Professor at the William F. Connell School of Nursing at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass. "Our editorial objective is to publish articles that are most useful to our nursing readership and genetics and genomics studies are some of the most widely read articles in the journal. I am pleased to have NIH authors contribute to the Genomics Issue which will assist nurses on the frontlines of patient care."

In response, this Genomics Issue highlights evidence that bridges genetics and nursing in order to educate nurses around the world who play an important role in improving patient care. For example, Dr. Deborah MacDonald, formerly with the Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif and now with the NIH in Bethesda, Md., details how nurses can impact cancer patient care with awareness of the underlying genomic factors involved in the development of malignancies.

Dr. MacDonald confirms, "Genomics, which encompasses genetics, is rapidly advancing and changing the scope of cancer care. It is important for nurses to understand how genomics contributes to cancer risk assessment, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and long-term management, so that they may educate cancer patients and their families." The authors suggest that when nurses advocate use of evidence-based genomic guidelines they help to reduce cancer risk and improve health, quality of life and safety of patients in their care.

"The purpose of this Genomics Issue is to provide evidence reviews about the genomics of common healthcare conditions relevant to nursing practice," explains editorial author Kathleen A. Calzone, PhD, RN, APNG, FAAN with the NIH. "Eleven articles focus on current and emerging technology including genome sequencing, evidence of genomic variation and applications for diseases such as , metabolic syndrome and heart disease; and ethical, legal, social and research issues with application of genomics in health care, facilitating the effective use of genomic information to promote and protect the public's health."

"We are excited to be able to offer this Genomics Issue highlighting the relevancy of genomics to healthcare and nursing practice in response to an expressed interest by Nursing Deans for an updated clinical genomics resource," added Dr. Jean Jenkins with the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), NIH. "Such knowledge is essential to assuring the nursing expertise needed not only for today, but also for the future."

Explore further: Better together - The RN and the EHR

Related Stories

Better together - The RN and the EHR

January 17, 2012
With the prodding of new federal legislation, electronic health records (EHRs) are rapidly becoming part of the daily practice of hospital nurses – the frontline providers of care. In the first large study of its kind, ...

Increased collaboration between nursing home RNs and LPNs could improve patient care

March 14, 2012
Researchers estimate nearly 800,000 preventable adverse drug events may occur in nursing homes each year. Many of these incidents could be prevented with safety practices such as medication reconciliation, a process in which ...

New study the first to look at nursing error disclosure in nursing homes

November 4, 2011
Nurses have an obligation to disclose an error when one occurs. While errors should be avoided as much as possible, the reality is the health care delivery system is not and will never be perfect; errors and adverse events ...

Fewer patient deaths after surgery in hospitals known for good nursing care

October 22, 2012
Patients treated in magnet hospitals (specially designated for their nursing excellence) had 14 percent lower odds of death than those in non-magnet hospitals in a four-state study of 564 hospitals led by the University of ...

Recommended for you

Genome analysis with near-complete privacy possible, say researchers

August 17, 2017
It is now possible to scour complete human genomes for the presence of disease-associated genes without revealing any genetic information not directly associated with the inquiry, say Stanford University researchers.

Science Says: DNA test results may not change health habits

August 17, 2017
If you learned your DNA made you more susceptible to getting a disease, wouldn't you work to stay healthy?

Genetic variants found to play key role in human immune system

August 16, 2017
It is widely recognized that people respond differently to infections. This can partially be explained by genetics, shows a new study published today in Nature Communications by an international collaboration of researchers ...

Phenotype varies for presumed pathogenic variants in KCNB1

August 16, 2017
(HealthDay)—De novo KCNB1 missense and loss-of-function variants are associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, with or without seizures, according to a study published online Aug. 14 in JAMA Neurology.

Active non-coding DNA might help pinpoint genetic risk for psychiatric disorders

August 16, 2017
Northwestern Medicine scientists have demonstrated a new method of analyzing non-coding regions of DNA in neurons, which may help to pinpoint which genetic variants are most important to the development of schizophrenia and ...

Evolved masculine and feminine behaviors can be inherited from social environment

August 15, 2017
The different ways men and women behave, passed down from generation to generation, can be inherited from our social environment - not just from genes, experts have suggested.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.