Queenslanders are set to further benefit from genomic medicine and personalised care, with the Queensland Government investing $1.45 million into the nursing and midwifery workforce through its Queensland Genomics program.

Queensland Genomics is working in partnership with the Office of Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer and other key leaders across the State to uplift and expand the scope of practice for nurses and midwives.

Mr David Bunker, Executive Director of Queensland Genomics said this investment focuses on the creation of new nursing and midwifery genomics roles, education and workforce development.

“Rapid advances in genomic medicine are affecting more and more areas of healthcare, with changes made in the way we diagnose, treat and care for patients and their families,” he said.

“Nurses and Midwives are integral to the delivery of health services, and ensuring patients get the right care and support. And genomics is no different.

“This investment and collaborative effort will result in a significant uplift for genomics healthcare in the Queensland nursing and midwifery workforce.

“Investing in our healthcare workforce is necessary for the successful implementation of genomic medicine into healthcare.

“One of the barriers to the widespread adoption of genomics into mainstream clinical practice is the capability of the workforce.

“Queensland Genomics has invested in a range of workforce and education initiatives, to ensure the Queensland healthcare workforce can confidently and accurately use genomic information in clinical decision-making.”

Adjunct Professor Shelley Nowlan, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer for Queensland Health, said Queensland nurses and midwives are leading Australia in terms of incorporating genomics into nursing and midwifery practice.

“This investment has allowed us to create 11 new genomics nursing positions in Queensland to support genomic health services in specialties such as cancer, childhood immunology, infection control and cardiology,” she said.

“To further support this work, a targeted nursing and midwifery genomics education program is being developed by the Queensland University of Technology.

“A development position has also been established at the Genomics Institute to identify career development pathways for Nurses and Midwives in Genomics.

“It is essential that nurses and midwives are not only educated in genomic medicine but are confident to play a key role in multidisciplinary teams that are providing genomic care.

“It’s an exciting time for nurses and midwives with increased opportunities to provide personalised care to patients, and I am pleased we are investing in our nurses and midwives here in Queensland.”