Genetics and Genomics for Health Professionals

Competency and Curricular Resources

Practicing healthcare providers and healthcare students will increasingly use genetic and genomic knowledge information to meet the needs of their patients. To meet this growing need all healthcare professionals including nurses, physicians, and physician assistants are creating essential competencies, practice guidelines, and curricular resources in genetics and genomics for each of their professions. Genetic and genomic competencies, guidelines, curricular and CME resources, as well as National Human Genome Research training opportunities for healthcare professionals are provided in this section.

Nurse Request for Comments: The Genomic Nursing State of the Science Initiative Advisory Panel
The Genomic Nursing State of the Science Initiative Advisory Panel has recommended a draft genomics nursing research agenda and advised solicitation of public comment on draft research priorities. Read more

The comment period is now closed. See the draft document to review all of the comments.

Competencies in Genetics and Genomics

Competencies for All Healthcare Professionals
  • National Coalition of Health Professional Education in Genetics (NCHPEG) []
    NCHPEG was established in 1996 by the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, and the National Human Genome Research Institute. Comprised of 64 diverse health professional organizations, consumer and volunteer groups, government agencies, private industry, managed care organizations, and genetics professional societies, NCHPEG is committed to promoting health professional education and access to information about advances in human genetics. In 2007, NCHPEG published the third edition of its "Core Competencies in Genetics for Health Professionals." This report recommends that all health professionals possess certain core competencies in genetics so that they can effectively and responsibly integrate genetics into current clinical practice and education of health professionals.

Nursing Competencies
Physicians Assistants Competencies
  • Physician Assistant Competencies for Genomic Medicine: Where We Are Today and How to Prepare for the Future
    A meeting to develop an outline for how Physician Assistants could utilize current and anticipated knowledge of genetics and genomics as the basis for improving clinical care and make personalized medicine a regular part of patient care.

  • Physician Assistants and Genomic Medicine Meeting Summary
    The goals of this meeting were to: 1) provide an opportunity for the Physician Assistant organizations to share information regarding their activities in the arena of genetics and genomics, 2) identify gaps and means to close them, 3) discuss potential roles for the participating organizations in expanding the knowledge base of Physician Assistant faculty, students and graduates regarding the application of genomics to healthcare, and 4) plan next steps for all of the organizations in attendance.

Top of page


For All Healthcare Professionals
  • Contemporary Issues in Medicine: Genetics Education [] PDF file June 2004.

  • Genetics and Your Practice []
    A practical "how to" site on clinical genetics from the March of Dimes

  • Genetics in Clinical Practice: A Team Approach []
    Offered by Dartmouth University's Interactive Media Laboratory, this downloadable course based on the "Virtual Practicum" model is intended for health care providers where knowledge of clinical genetics can positively affect outcomes. Note: This course is offered free by download with a high-speed internet connection. NHGRI does not endorse, encourage or require purchasing this product.

  • Genetics in Primary Care []
    Training program curriculum materials

  • Genetics in Psychology []
    The American Psychological Association's site about genetics

  • Information for Genetics Professionals []
    Educational, clinical, and research resources

  • National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics []
    Core competencies in genetics and reviews of education programs

  • Toolkit Resource Development

    One of the desired resources suggested at the 2006 strategic planning meeting was a "Toolkit" for nursing faculty. In collaboration with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, an invitational meeting was held September 14, 2007 to discuss the development of a Toolkit resource that illustrates the relevancy of genetics/genomics for nurses, identifies the right skills, provides the essential education support materials, is realistic in expected outcomes, and offers champions that can provide educational consultation. This toolkit is now available.

    Genomic applications in health care and disease prevention are increasingly relevant to the day-to-day delivery of care to the general public, and patients of all health care professionals. In many ways the internet is the most logical venue for the development, storage, and dissemination of educational resources for health professionals and their teachers. To address this growing need for genetic and genomic knowledge among health care professionals, in 2010 an online tool was launched to help educate the next generation of nurses and physician assistants about this new frontier. The Genetics/Genomics Competency Center is a free, Web-based repository of peer reviewed curricular materials on genetics and genomics designed for nursing and physician assistants. To access this resource, visit

    The Genetics/Genomics Competency Center was created under the guidance of an advisory group made up of representatives from a wide range of research and professional organizations. Those organizations included the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the American Association Colleges of Nursing, National Cancer Institute, National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics, National League for Nursing, National Society of Genetic Counselors, Physician Assistant Education Association and Sigma Theta Tau International. Expansion of this tool to include other health care professions, such as genetic counselors, pharmacists and others is in progress.

    Educators can use the Genetic/Genomic Competency Center to find and download peer reviewed materials for use in their classrooms. They also can share their favorite genomic and genetic teaching resources with other educators by uploading material, which will be regularly reviewed by the center's editorial board to ensure quality control. A rating system will also be implemented to facilitate identification by the busy educator of the most valuable resources. Visit the site to learn about the many components available at G2C2.

For Physicians
For Nurses
  • Genetics and Genomics in Nursing
    A compilation of this series of articles has now been produced as an E-text. For more information about Genomics in Nursing and Healthcare (nurseAdvance Collection), Sigma Theta Tau International, visit: nurseAdvance Collection on Genomics in Nursing and Healthcare (2007) []

  • Genetics Education Program for Nurses []
    Links to genetics resources of particular interest to nurses.

  • Genetics Is Relevant Now []
    NCHPEG and the Department of Nursing at the University of Cincinnati developed this Web-based educational program that illustrates current genetics applications in nursing practice. Specifically, the content addresses the relevance of genetics in infectious disease, oncology nursing, and common disease. It includes audio clips from genetics nursing experts and from patients.

For Physician Assistants
  • Genomics in Physician Assistant Practice
    An article series on genomics from the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants that demonstrates how genetics is becoming the fundamental science for all health care providers and how it has, and soon will, influence clinical practice for Physician Assistants (PA).

  • National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics []
    An annual meeting that often provides meeting slides and information on their Web site. Other educational programs of value are listed on their Web site, including a recently developed Web-based programs: Genetics in the Physician Assistant's Practice [], which provides an interactive genetics primer, family history exercises, genetic testing information, teaching tools, and links to other resources.
Continuing Medical Education
National Human Genome Research Institute Training Opportunities

To view the PDF(s) on this page you will need Adobe Reader. Download Adobe Reader

Top of page

Last Updated: August 16, 2012