A genetic nurse is a licensed professional nurse with special education and training in genetics. Genetics-study of individual genes and their impact on relatively rare single gene disorders.
What Do Genetic Nurses Do:
-take detailed family histories,
-assess hereditary and nonhereditary risk factors related to genetic diseases
-provide genetic information to individuals and families
-interpret genetic tests and laboratory data
-manage and care for patients and families at risk for or affected by genetic diseases
-provide genetic counseling and case management for persons with complex genetic health care needs
Genetic nurses work in many settings:
Specialty clinics where gene-based diagnoses and therapies are offered, prenatal and reproductive technology centers, cancer centers, primary health care settings, pediatric clinics, industrial health, school health, research centers, biotech and insurance industries.
Genetic nurses usually have an additional knowledge base about genetic healthcare issues. This is gained by acquiring a genetics-specific certification in addition to the traditional degree or licensure.
Some prerequisites include:
•Registered Nurse Licensure
•Documented clinical genetics experience
Two certifications offered by the Genetic Nursing Credentialing Commission (GNCC):
• Genetics Clinical Nurse certification – Prereq: RN with Bachelor’s degree; 5 years clinical genetics experience.
• Advanced Practice Nurse in Genetics certification – Prereq: RN with Master’s degree in Nursing; 300 documented hours clinical genetics experience.
Nurses with GCN after their names are baccalaureate prepared licensed registered nurses who have received specialty credentialing as a Genetic Clinical Nurse (GCN).
Nurses with APNG after their names are licensed registered nurses with a masters degree who have received specialty credentialing as an Advanced Practice Nurse in Genetics (APNG).