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A genetics nurse is a registered nurse who specializes in the field of genetics. This specialty may include caring for patients who have various genetic disorders, educating and assisting those who are at risk for genetic diseases and performing various testing on patient’s who suspect they may be prone to genetic disorders. A genetic nurse deals with patients of all ages, sexes and backgrounds in an attempt to help them if they are either at risk for a disorder or have already been diagnosed with a genetic disorder. The genetics nurse typically works in a doctors’ office or research facility where they focus on strictly hereditary diseases, hospital jobs are typically not found in the genetics specialty unless it is at a research hospital.
The required education to become a qualified genetics nurse can range from a simple two year Associates degree, all the way up to six years of college required to earn a Masters degree. With the two year Associates degree, you will graduate in less time, however; your employment opportunities will be limited. On the other hand, if you go back to college to earn your online Bachelors degree, which is a four year undergraduate degree in nursing, you will be awarded with many more employment opportunities and the chance for more salary raises as well. If you want to take your career as a genetics nurse to the limit, however; you will need to go back to college again after your Bachelors degree to earn your online Masters degree. Your online Masters degree in nursing should have a concentration in genetics which will get you fully qualified and certified in the genetics field. All degree programs can be completed at any of the top online universities who are now offering nursing programs to their distance learning students. The only classes you will be required to attend in person are the clinical training opportunities that will be achieved at a healthcare facility in your area. This specialty requires the nurse to be extremely knowledgeable in the area of genetics as well as various genetic disorders, therefore, a Masters degree is generally preferred, although a Bachelors and certificate in genetics may be accepted.
Job Description of Genetics Nurse
The job description for the nurse can vary depending on the type of facility you work at, for instance, if you work in a research hospital, you may spend most of your time testing patients for various genetic disorders and determining their risk factors to contract the disease. If you work at a doctor’s office, you may be responsible for testing patients who are considered high risk for one of the many genetic disorders including various cancers, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s’ disease and more. In addition, genetic testing on fetuses has become common practice in the second trimester of pregnancy. This test tells the mother if their unborn child is at high risk for various genetic disorders. The genetics nurse in this aspect generally works in a gynecology clinic or office setting where the doctor can provide the expectant mother the genetics test in their office. In any place of employment as a nurse specializing in genetics, you will spend most of your time working on research, assisting doctors and educating patients, while a smaller portion of your job will be spent doing the actual testing on patients.
If you want to become a genetics nurse, get your education today. You will be able to change your life, do it today.