Date of Award

Spring 5-25-2023

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Joseph Burkard, DNSc, CRNA, AACN



The purpose of this evidence-based Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project was to examine genetics and genomics literacy in advanced practice nursing students before and after an intervention.


As genomics continue to play an emerging role in healthcare, and advancements are introduced into clinical practice, it is critical that nurses be competent in genetics and genomics concepts. There is a fundamental need to incorporate genomics education into nursing school curriculum. However, studies have shown that the majority of faculty across nursing schools in the United States are ill-equipped to teach genetics and genomics concepts. Furthermore, many interventions to increase genetics and genomics literacy among nurses have resulted in minimal improvement.


Two cohorts totaling 25 advanced practice nursing students were administered the Genomic Nursing Concept Inventory (GNCI), a 31-question multiple choice questionnaire assessing 18 genomic concepts in four categories (Human Genome Basics, Inheritance, Mutations, and Genomic Health Care) before and after a semester-long educational intervention at the University of San Diego. 19 of the students had baccalaureate degrees in nursing (BSN), and 6 had master’s degree in nursing (MSN). The BSN cohort received the intervention with face-to-face instruction, while the MSN cohort received it as a virtual/hybrid course. One person in the BSN cohort did not take the pre-assessment but completed the post-assessment. Percentage of correct items and mean scores amongst the two cohorts were calculated and reported.


Students in the BSN cohort had a slight increase in mean percentage score after the educational intervention, although not statistically significant (44% and 49%, respectively). Students in the MSN cohort had a decrease in mean percentage score in their post-intervention-assessment (38% and 35%, respectively).


Nurses continue to score poorly in genomics literacy, regardless of their level of education. There is limited evidence indicating what the most effective educational interventions are, and at what level of nursing education they should be taught. Additional research is needed to identify the most effective interventions to improve genomic literacy. Genomics curriculum should aim to align with existing genetics and genomics nursing competencies.

Keywords: genomics, genetics, genomic education, genetics nurse, genomic concepts, nursing education