Executive Summary:  Engagement Framework

Background

Scientific advancements in genomics, the study of genes and their interactions with a person's environment, are having a profound impact on every aspect of healthcare. Genomics has improved the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases (e.g., cancers and cardiac disease) and has reduced health care costs and treatment burden for patients. Genomics also explains how early life experience affects health and disease over the lifespan and across generations.

The coordination and delivery of care and patient satisfaction will be enhanced by nurses who have knowledge of genomics. The first step to achieving this is to equip nurses with genomic literacy.

Aims

To identify the priorities of Canadian nurses that would lead to actions that develop genomic literacy and accelerate the integration of genomics into Canadian nursing practice. 

Methods

The primary methods for identifying the priorities for action included a literature review, engagement sessions with Canadian nurses and an environmental scan using the ASIGN tool based on critical success factors for the integration of genomics into practice identified by international experts. 

Results: Six Key Priorities of Canadian Nurses 
  1. Engage nurses to see clinical relevance of genomics which will support buy in. 

  2. Clarify nurses unique and overlapping roles in genomics to improve population health outcomes, enhance patient experience, increase provider satisfaction, and offer better value for cost.

  3. Workforce development through education and clinical learning to ensure nurses have genomic literacy and skills to participate in genomics informed care. 

  4. Leadership to promote innovation and new care pathways that include genomics. 

  5. Develop infrastructure to support professional practice in genomics including curriculum, practice standards, policies and procedures, and inter and intra-professional collaboration.  

  6. Research to develop knowledge and clinical interventions for nursing practice.

Key Messages

Nurses are the largest group of regulated health professionals and will play a key role in the integration of genomics and implementation of precision healthcare strategies. 

Concerted strategies with collaboration between nurses in the five domains of practice will assist in addressing these six priorities and accelerate the adoption of genomics into nursing practice. 

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