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NHGRI, UVA Begin Program for Genomics Education for Nurses and Physician Assistants

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — The National Human Genome Research Institute and the University of Virginia have begun a pilot project aimed at helping nursing educators and physician assistants develop new training materials for genomic medicine.
Developed using $100,000 in funding from NHGRI, the open access materials will be freely available on a website that will be used by both nursing educators and physician assistants to help them develop and review educational information on genetics and genomics.
The program, which is scheduled for launch in 2009, is based on the idea that the similarities between the two groups will allow for creating “a shared, integrated learning and content management system” that will allow nursing teachers and doctors’ assistants to post competencies and educational materials and to compare overlaps.
"Most healthcare provider groups have very similar core educational needs in genetics and genomics," NHGRI’s Director for Genomic Medicine, Greg Feero, said in a statement. He said those needs “can be better addressed through this collaborative effort.”
The resources available on the site “will be mapped to genetic competencies in a way that helps the students improve in specific subjects,” according to NHGRI.
“This collaboration helps educators from different professions cross germinate ideas regarding competencies and share teaching and learning tools for genetics," Connie Goldgar, who is director of graduate studies at the Utah Physician Assistant Program at the University of Utah School of Medicine, said in a statement.
The project also is supported by the Physician Assistant Education Association; the American Academy of Physician Assistants; the American Association of Colleges of Nursing; the National League for Nursing; Sigma Theta Tau International; the National Society of Genetic Counselors; as well as the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics.
AACN President Fay Raines said the site “will be invaluable to nursing school faculty who are working to integrate genetics and genomics content into their curricula, thereby preparing students to provide higher quality patient care."

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