help! :0 Pediatric + Genetics?


I am still in nursing school, graduating in Spring 2013 with BSN.

I did not know which floor/specialty I wanted to go for and was lost and embarrassed whenever someone asks me where I wanted to work when I graduate.

My best friend recently had a beautiful baby girl who is now diagnosed with DiGeorge Syndrome(a disorder caused by a defect in chromosome 22, results in the poor development of several body systems.) This got me into thinking that working as a genetics nurse would be great for me since I always was interested in genetics.

I want to be a nurse that helps people who plan to have kids, do genetic testings on them, counseling and help babies with genetic disorders and their disabilities.

Because of horrible experiences in my clinicals, I do not work in a regular hospital setting.

(but don't mind working 1-2 years if I have to have this work experience)

My problem is that I do not know where to start and how to even be one.

I looked websites like and GNCC and it didn't really help me too much.

Is anyone here familiar with genetics nursing?

I am from Korea, fluent in both English and Korean and can speak conversational German. I do not mind going to another country to work as a genetics nurse if I get the opporunity.

I know I still have one more year before I graduate but I want to do some research now.

It will be greatly appreciated if any of you here can share your ideas! :)

Pediatric Critical Care Columnist / Guide

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

16 Articles; 7,358 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology. Has 25 years experience.

My daughter is a geneticist. She has a PhD in human genetics. Nurses do not work in her department in any capacity. Testing is done by laboratory technologists. Counselling is done by the medical geneticist. About the closest you could come would be to work in a fertility clinic, but what you'd be doing there is assisting with artificial insemination, ova recovery and embryo implantation, with very little involvement with the outcomes. Another option is to find a pediatrician who specializes in special-needs children and work in the office/clinic - but that wouldn't necessarily mean the patients would ALL be children with genetic disorders. Many of them would be children with structural but non-genetic defects, birth injuries, post-traumatic neurological issues and so on. You could work with public health and make it known that your chosen clientele would be families of children with genetic disorders, but there again, there's no guarantee you'd have ANY in your catchment area. The last option I can think of would be to find a long-term care facility for children, with the same caveat as for the pediatrician.


47 Posts


I work on a pediatric clinical research unit and our primary population is genetics patients. You can be a bedside nurse; however, right now I don't think there really is a title as genetics nurse, but I could be wrong. I thinks it's just nurses who take care of patients with genetics anomalies.

You can also try e-mailing someone from ISONG and see if they can tell you where to start looking for employment.

Hope this helps.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

1 Article; 7,349 Posts

Specializes in Pedi. Has 16 years experience.

Nurses don't do genetic testing and there are Genetic Counselors who counsel people going through genetic testing or who are known carriers of genetic diseases.

ANYWHERE you work in pediatrics you will see genetic diseases... when I worked inpatient neurology, I frequently saw things like Down Syndrome, Neurofibromatosis, Sickle Cell Disease (increased risk for stroke) and Tuberous Sclerosis and infrequently saw other genetic diseases like Noonan syndrome, Williams syndrome and Cystic Fibrosis.


351 Posts

Specializes in Cath lab, acute, community. Has 11 years experience.

I work at a paediatric hospital, and work in tandem with the genetics department. The genetics department do not have employ nurses in any capacity. Genetic counsellors do the counselling, doctors do the rest, lab technicians do the lab stuff. Basically, there isn't a place for a nurse in genetics. You might come across the odd genetic patient, however there really isn't anywhere, that I can think of, that would specialise in it. However, I wonder if the various genetic charities employ nurses? Just an idea?