With developments in genomics, there is an urgent need for Canadian nurses in all settings to be informed and involved in the incorporation of this new knowledge into healthcare. The purpose of this paper was to synthesize the literature on genetic nursing roles to provide a foundation for Canadian nursing leaders as they take on the challenges of nursing in the genomic era. A comprehensive review of 98 articles published between 1994 and 2004 revealed strong support for genetic nursing roles and recommendations for levels of genetic nursing practice. The few studies on genetic nursing roles suggested that nurses and other health professionals support the integration of genomics into nursing practice. Issues that need to be addressed related to nursing practice, education and research are offered to engage nursing leaders in advocating for the incorporation of genomics into nursing in Canada.
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