Title

Improving nurse practitioners' competence with genetics: Effectiveness of an online course

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

3-1-2016

Journal

Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners

Volume

28

Issue

3

DOI

10.1002/2327-6924.12282

Keywords

Curriculum; Education; Efficacy; Evaluation; Genetics; Nurse practitioners; Research

Abstract

© 2016 American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of an online genetics course for improving nurse practitioners' knowledge, competence, and comfort with genetic principles and their application to clinical practice. Data sources: A genetics knowledge test and survey were administered to 232 nurse practitioner students, between 2011 and 2013, before and after completing a 15-week online genetics course taught by a multidisciplinary team of instructors at a private east coast U.S. university. The 65-item survey allowed participants to rate competence regarding genetic principles, diseases, and terminology, as well as comfort performing various clinical tasks related to genetics. The 21-item knowledge test contained multiple choice questions regarding core competencies in genetics. Paired t-tests were used to compare mean pre- and postscores. Conclusions: Participants significantly increased postcourse knowledge (p < .001) and comfort with genetic core competencies and clinical skills related to genetics (p < .001). This study demonstrates the effectiveness of an online genetics course for increasing nurse practitioners' knowledge, competence, and confidence with genetics and identifies specific topics educators should consider when designing curricula for nurse practitioners. Implications for practice: Findings from this study can improve genetics education for nurse practitioners, which will in turn improve patient health.

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