Funded course for nurses looking to build their genomic skills

Nurses keen to learn about genomics and counselling can apply to join this popular introductory course delivered online by the University of the West of England

**Note: Applications are now closed for 2021**

As the roll-out of the NHS Genomic Medicine Service brings equitable access to genomic testing across England for the first time, the impact of genomics on patient care continues to grow.

To enable nurses to develop their knowledge and understanding of genomics and better support their patients, the University of the West of England has created a new online course, Genomics and Counselling Skills for Nurses, in collaboration with Macmillan Cancer Support, a range of NHS genomics specialists, and Health Education England’s Genomics Education Programme (GEP).

Nurses working in England can apply for funding to cover course fees.

Flexible learning

The course has been developed for nurses with little-to-no previous knowledge of genomics. Interest, enthusiasm and completion of pre-course learning materials will enable learners to excel, even if they are novice in this area.

The module will be delivered via a blended learning model, and will include five core units:

  1. personal and professional development in genomics;
  2. cancer genetics and genomics;
  3. rare and inherited conditions;
  4. communicating genomics; and
  5. pharmacogenomics and personalised medicine.

In addition, the applications of genomics in infectious diseases will be covered in discussion forums.

Beginning on 17 September 2021, participants can expect to spend six to eight hours per week engaging with the module content. To accommodate clinical commitments, all lectures will be pre-recorded and available online, and participants will be supported by weekly live online tutorials.

A blended approach

The module will require 30 hours of synchronous learning (such as online live webinars and virtual classroom tutorials), 40 hours of asynchronous learning (such as pre-recorded lectures and online discussion boards), and 80 hours of independent / self-guided study time. Participants’ newly gained knowledge and skills will be assessed through group presentations and creation of information leaflets for patients and their families. In total, the full course will take around 20 weeks in total to complete.

Dates and times for the course can be found here. Please contact Melanie Watson melanie.watson@nbt.nhs.uk for more information.

Funded places available

The GEP will be funding 30 places for nurses who currently work in England. Funding covers course fees only; students need to ensure they are available to attend ALL dates, as funding will not be provided for those who do not attend. Students must have agreement from their line manager and their Genomic Medicine Service Alliance chief nurse – more information is available here.

A panel will review all applications and notify successful candidates within seven days of the applications closing.

Please note: data provided in an application will be held on file until the end of the course. After this date, any personal information will be deleted by HEE. Information will be shared with the panel, made up of Health Education England, Macmillan Cancer and the University of West of England, to allow funding decisions to be made.

Successful candidates will need to enrol with University of West of England, which will hold the data under its data protection policy.

Learner testimonials

Healthcare professionals who completed this course previously had very positive feedback to share, including:

“I have loved every single minute of this course. The support from all of you has been incredible. It has given me more confidence in myself and my abilities.”

“I came into the course feeling like I knew next to nothing about genomics, and I was very daunted by the subject. But once I was at the other end of the course, I was surprised by how much more confident I was talking genomics. This is in no small part due to the excellent speakers and their ability to deliver complex subjects to a novice audience, our module leads for the support and encouragement throughout the course, and the comradery of the cohort.”

“I have gained a deeper understanding of genomics and how it is used to support clinical practice and influence patient management. I have increased my genomic literacy and gained greater confidence in talking genomics with colleagues, patients and their families. I would strongly advocate this module to all nursing and healthcare professional colleagues.”

If you have further questions about the course, please email melanie.watson@nbt.nhs.uk.