U.S. genetics nurses in advanced practice

D. H. Lea
Janet K. Williams, University of Iowa
J. A. Cooksey
P. A. Flanagan
G. Forte
M. G. Blitzer


PURPOSE: To describe characteristics and professional roles of genetics nurses in advanced practice. DESIGN: A cross-sectional descriptive survey administered in 2004 as one component of a comprehensive study of genetic services and the health workforce. The sample was 211 U.S. members of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics. METHODS: The survey included demographic characteristics, education, credentials, professional roles, and attitudes about genetic healthcare issues. FINDINGS: The majority of respondents had master's degrees and many had earned doctorates in nursing (20%) or other fields (12%). Thirty-one percent were certified as nurse practitioners; 57% provided direct patient care, with the largest percentage working in genetics (26%) or oncology (22%) settings. Over one-third were educators and 19% conducted genome-related research. CONCLUSIONS: Genetics nurses in advanced practice in the US focus on both genomic discoveries and clinical health care through the application of genomic knowledge into health care, research, and nursing education.