Nurses' competence in genetics: An integrative review

Helen Wright, Lin Zhao, Melanie Birks, Jane Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this integrative review was to update a mixed method systematic review by Skirton, O'Connor, and Humphreys (2012) that reported on nurses' levels of competence in using genetics in clinical practice. Three electronic databases were searched using selected key words. Research studies published in English between January 2011 and September 2017 reporting levels of nurse competence in genetics or genomics were eligible for inclusion. The selected studies were subjected to thematic analysis. Three main themes were identified: (i) genomic knowledge and utilization, (ii) perceived relevance to practice, and (iii) genomic education. While the reviewed papers produced varied findings, many nurses were shown to have poor genomic knowledge and/or competency, and yet there was a consensus that most nurses believe genomics is important to their practice. The present review indicated that in the past 5years nurses have made minimal progress toward achieving the core genomic competencies appropriate for clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-153
Number of pages12
JournalNursing and Health Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Competency
  • Family history
  • Genetics
  • Genomics
  • Nursing
  • Pedigree

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