Genomics advances that have evidence-based clinical utility have implications world-wide across the healthcare continuum and impact all nurses regardless of academic preparation, role or clinical specialty. Embracing genomic healthcare requires a prepared workforce that can inform, educate and empower people, addressing existing and novel ethical issues and anticipating any potential negative impact on vulnerable populations. However, this represents a significant challenge as deficits in genomic literacy in nursing and other health professions are widely acknowledged.
The primary aim of this initiative is to strategize on methods to establish a Global Genomics Nursing Alliance (G2NA) to accelerate the integration of genomics into everyday professional practice.
To achieve this aim we intend to develop a Roadmap that will provide a foundation for the G2NA success, underpinned through four initiatives.
- First, establish a Maturity Matrix which serves as a benchmark for progress that recognises real-world constraints. The Maturity Matrix is a multi-stage grid that enables users to locate their current stage of organizational development (at national and sub-national levels) in order to inform a strategy to improve care, through further developments in service delivery and practice, research, education and policy.
- Second, identify existing nursing assets in genomics that could be shared throughout the international nursing community. This would serve as the foundation for an international collation of a nursing resource toolkit designed to provide practical help in promoting uptake and integration of genetics and genomics in healthcare.
- Third, begin to establish international partnerships for ongoing collaboration, consultation, sharing, and research to maximize outcomes and reduce the duplication of efforts and burden of any one country.
- Fourth, determine key features needed for a G2NA platform (i.e. website) to facilitate the ongoing work of the G2NA.
The Roadmap will draw together the outcomes from all four initiatives to provide a strategy for action. Much of this work will be carried out through a 3-day meeting of international participants at the Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge, during January 2017.
The activities planned around this initiative (the survey, pre-meeting webinars and the G2NA Retreat itself) have been scrutinised and approved by the Faculty of Life Sciences and Education Ethics Committee, University of South Wales (November 21st 2016).
The G2NA will generate considerable social capital to accelerate change across nursing communities, provide the impetus to improve nursing genomic health literacy particularly where progress is slow and inconsistent, and reduce duplication of effort and burden on any one country. Preparation regarding social and ethical implications of genomic information will equip nurses to inform policy decisions promoting equitable health outcomes. The core underpinning vehicle to drive and inform this will be the G2NA Roadmap.