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Advanced Practice

Oncology Nurse Practitioners in Genetics: Examining Scope of Practice and Competence

Suzanne M. Mahon
Susan Yackzan
CJON 2022, 26(2), 141-145 DOI: 10.1188/22.CJON.141-145

Genomic science is rapidly evolving, and ordering germline testing requires appropriate and comprehensive assessment of a patient’s personal and family history, as well as the knowledge base to facilitate selection of the best test or panel of tests, provision of pretest counseling for informed consent, interpretation of test results, post-test recommendations, and coordination of care for other at-risk family members. Prior to ordering germline genetic testing, an advanced practice RN’s scope of practice accountability includes consideration of competence in the provision of genomic care. This article provides a case study to illustrate the complexities of issues related to competence when ordering germline genetic testing.


  • The continual expansion of genomic science has created a need for competent genetic professionals to provide comprehensive care to patients and families.
  • Information about scope of practice accountability is fundamental for advanced practice oncology nurses considering provision of genomic care. 
  • Competence is an essential component of personal accountability in scope of practice determinations. 

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