International Society of Nurses in Genetics

ANCC Certification through Portfolio

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG) today announced the launch of a new certification through portfolio for advanced genetics nursing. This new certification serves to validate advanced genetics nurses’ unique knowledge, skills, and contributions to patient care delivery. ANCC supports ISONG members and all advanced genetics nurses worldwide in their pursuit to be certified in their specialty area. The new certification program is available now at

Advanced Genetics Nursing

The ANCC certification through portfolio is an alternative assessment method for credentialing individual registered nurses in their specialty area. Nurses document their skills, knowledge, abilities, and career accomplishments as part of the application and assessment process. Certification through portfolio requires rigor equivalent to that of examinations to meet accrediting bodies’ criteria to determine proficiency through a peer review process informed by nurse experts.

 Nurses certified through the ANCC portfolio assessment method are regarded as experts in their specialties and are considered to be among the highest-qualified nurses in the world. These credentials foster both professional growth and job satisfaction while demonstrating a nurse’s commitment to providing excellent care.

 About ANCC

The mission of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA), is to promote excellence in nursing and health care globally through credentialing programs. ANCC’s internationally renowned credentialing programs certify and recognize individual nurses in specialty practice areas. ANCC recognizes healthcare organizations that promote nursing excellence and quality patient outcomes while providing safe, positive work environments. In addition, ANCC accredits healthcare organizations that provide and approve continuing nursing education. ANCC is the first and only healthcare certification organization in the United States to have successfully achieved ISO 9001:2008 certification.

GCN and APNG Renewal through ANCC

Those currently certified through the former Genetic Nursing Credentialing Commission (GNCC) can find information about renewing their certifications at

New applicants for the Genetics Clinical Nurse (GCN) are not being accepted at this time, however, current GCN-certified nurses can review the renewal requirements at the above-referenced ANCC site.


What is a Genetics Nurse?

A genetics nurse is a licensed professional nurse with special education and training in genetics. Genetics nurses help people at risk for or affected by diseases with a genetic component achieve and maintain health. Many common diseases are now known to have a genetic component including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimers.

Genetics nurses perform risk assessment, analyze the genetic contribution to disease risk, and discuss the impact of risk on health care management for individuals and families. They also provide genetics education, provide nursing care to patients and families and conduct research in genetics.

photoNurses In Genetics Work With Patients And Their Families In Many Settings

  • specialty clinics where gene-based diagnoses and therapies are offered
  • prenatal and reproductive technology centers
  • cancer centers
  • primary health care settings
  • pediatric clinics
  • industrial health
  • school health
  • research centers
  • biotech and insurance industries

Who Could Benefit From Genetics Nursing?

  • individuals and families with known hereditary conditions or diseases thought to have a hereditary component
    Examples: Alzheimer's disease, cancer, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, Down syndrome, hemophilia, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Sickle Cell disease
  • anyone who is considering genetic testing
  • individuals and couples who are concerned with issues related to pregnancy, such as birth defects, transmission of
    genetic conditions, or effect of pregnancy on existing genetic risk
  • couples who have had multiple miscarriages
  • couples who are related, such as first cousins
  • healthcare providers who seek genetics consultations for their patients

What Can Genetics Nurses Do For You?

  • obtain a detailed family history and construct a pedigree (family history diagram)
  • assess and analyze hereditary and nonhereditary disease risk factors
  • identify potential genetic conditions or genetic predisposition to disease
  • provide genetic information and psychosocial support to individuals and families
  • provide nursing care for patients and families at risk for or affected by diseases with a genetic component
  • provide genetic counseling
    (Advanced Practice Nurses)
  • facilitate genetic testing and interpret genetic test results and laboratory reports
    (Advanced Practice Nurses)

Genetics Nurse ISONG Brochure

Download our Brochure WHAT IS A GENETICS NURSE? (PDF)
Please feel free to use it to educate others about genetics nursing and its benefits to all.

Genetics Counseling

National Society of Genetic Counselors -- the leading voice, authority, and advocate for the genetic counseling profession. Discover the genetic counseling profession and its guiding principles. For more information, visit

Genetics & Nursing

National Genetics Education and Development Centre -- a site for learners and educators about what is important to know and the activities to be undertaken in clinical practice. Includes factsheets, videos, powerpoint presentations, telling stories and case scenarios. Visit

Essential Genetic and Genomic Competencies for Nurses With Graduate Degrees, co-published by the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG), is now available on the American Nurses Association website here. For background information on this document and how it was developed click here

If you would like the Steering Committee to provide you with a newsletter article or website announcement to help your organization announce the competencies, please contact Karen Greco at