The Canadian Landscape of Genetics and Genomics in Nursing: A Policy Document Analysis

Rebecca Puddester, Jacqueline Limoges, Sarah Dewell, Joy Maddigan, Lindsay Carlsson, April Pike

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Genetics and genomics (GG) are transforming approaches to healthcare in Canada and around the globe. Canadian nurses must be prepared to integrate GG in their practice, but modest research in this area suggests that Canadian nurses have limited GG competency. Countries that have integrated GG across nursing provided guidance to nurses about the practice implications of GG through regional nursing policy documents. These documents propelled action to integrate GG across nursing. Little is known about the GG content in the nursing policy document infrastructure in Canada. Purpose: This study aimed to examine the guidance for GG-informed nursing practice as provided by Canadian nursing organizations in official professional documents. Methods: Qualitative document analysis was used. A hybrid inductive/deductive analysis approach was used to analyze findings within the diffusion of innovation theory framework. Results: There is an overall lack of depth and breadth of Canadian nursing documents that include content related to GG. Of the (n = 37) documents analyzed, four themes were generated including (a) GG guidance in nursing education; (b) regulators’ requirements for foundational GG knowledge, (c) Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) as an early catalyst to GG integration; and (d) early adopters in speciality practice. Conclusion: There are opportunities to enhance the guidance available to Canadian nurses for the application of GG, through documents of nursing professional associations, nursing education accreditation organizations, and regulatory bodies. Findings suggest oncology and perinatal nurses are the early adopters which is an important consideration in future strategies to implement GG into Canadian nursing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-509
Number of pages16
JournalCanadian Journal of Nursing Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec. 2023


  • Policy
  • curriculum policy
  • innovation and improvement
  • nursing practice
  • textual analysis


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