Genomics Concentration

The Human Genome Project, an international quest to understand the genomes of humans and other organisms, is leading to unprecedented advances in science and healthcare. The growing momentum of genomics (the study of genes and their function) is revolutionizing our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of disease, including the complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors. Individual variations in the human genome can have a major impact on risk for disease and responses to the environmental, behaviors, drugs and other therapies.

Nurses are called upon by patients and families to answer questions about genetic information, testing and treatments. Technology is advancing so rapidly in genetics that health care delivery is already affected. For example, screening for pharmacogenetic profiles can predict if an individual is likely to benefit from a medication and/or if they will be likely to experience serious side effects.

Given the changing nature of health care as a result of the human genome project and subsequent scientific advances, a number of essential genetic and genomic competencies for nurses have been established. The concentration area on genomics at the UCSF School of Nursing provides a spectrum of content related to human genomics and clinical implications for nurses. There are three required courses for the concentration area. Additional clinical practicum and/or laboratory experience is available on a case-by-case basis.


Students from all Master’s program specialties and the doctoral program are welcome to register for these courses. Courses must be taken in sequence and may be taken during the first or second year of the Master’s program. N294C is the only course that may be taken without prerequisites. N294A (Fall) and N294B (Winter) meet approximately 4-5 times each quarter on Tuesday evenings from 5:30-7. The format is a lecture (~45 minutes), and discussion (~45 minutes). Other weeks consist of asynchronous online content. N294C in Spring quarter is entirely online and asynchronous.

Courses Schedule Units
N294A Introduction to Human Genomics Fall quarter 2 units
N294B Implications of Genomics for Nursing Practice Winter quarter 2 units
N294C Clinical Genomics Spring quarter 1 unit

Process for Applying to the Concentration

There is no application. All students are welcome to enroll in the courses. N294A and N294B must be taken sequentially.

Contact Us

Coordinator: Elena Flowers, PhD, RN