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sector_ico_Health_trans Human Health

A pilot genomic education program for family nurse practitioners

  • Project Leaders: Patricia Birch, Sarah Dewell
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $350000
  • Program/Competition: Genomics Education for Health Professionals
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Fiscal Year: 2022
  • Status: Active

The way we deliver and receive health care is changing rapidly. Advancements in genetic and genomic technologies have opened the door to health care that is tailored to a person’s genetic makeup – a practice called ‘precision health’. Precision health has gone from being a service offered at specialized clinics to an essential component of everyday health care. However, this integration is hindered when there is limited genomic knowledge among health care providers and educators.  


To bridge this gap, this pilot project aims to integrate genomic education into the New Masters of Nursing – Nurse Practitioner program at Thompson Rivers University (TRU). The project is a collaboration with the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) with additional expertise from the University of British Columbia (UBC).  This is the first initiative in Canada to integrate precision health concepts and genomics education into nurse practitioner training for both students and faculty. 


Through this project, nurse practitioner graduates and faculty will acquire the knowledge and skills to support the appropriate use of genetics and genomics in any community in the province. A crucial aspect of this project is extending the benefits of genomics to regions in British Columbia often neglected due to social and geographical reasons.Ultimately, it is the hope that this pilot project will provide the proof of concept for the integration of genomic knowledge and skills into the curriculum and enable the broader use of the program in other institutions in BC for nurses and nurse practitioners.