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This report describes the process of updating an competency framework for UK nurses undertaken by NHS England’s National Genomics Education programme. The report outlines the healthcare context in which these competencies sit, the background to the work and the methodology used to produce the framework.

The 2023 Genomic Competency Framework for UK Nurses focuses on the skills, knowledge and attitudes that are required for nurses to:

  1. identify individuals who might benefit from genomic services and/or information as part of assessing needs and planning care;
  2. demonstrate effective communication in tailoring genomic information and services to the individual;
  3. advocate for the rights of all individuals to make informed decisions and act voluntarily;
  4. demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of genomics in human development, variation and health to underpin effective practice;
  5. apply knowledge, understanding and context of genomic testing and information to underpin care and support for individuals and families prior to, during and following decision-making;
  6. examine your own competency of practice on a regular basis;
  7. obtain and communicate reliable, current information about genomics, for self, patients, families and colleagues; and
  8. provide ongoing nursing care and support to patients, carers, families and communities with genomic healthcare needs.

Many of the points are recognisable as part of everyday nursing practice, and have been included within the framework because of their intrinsic importance to providing care that is informed by genomic testing and information. They help to demonstrate that, although perceived as a new discipline, nurses already possess many of the competencies needed to support patients and their families with genomic medicine.


Publication type

NHS Genomic Medicine Service


First published

13th December 2023

Page updated

13th December 2023

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2023 Genomic Competency Framework for UK Nurses (PDF)

2023 Genomic Competency Framework for UK Nurses (.docx)