Oncology Nurse Navigator Roles Are Transforming Cancer Outcomes for Underserved Rural Patients
Underserved, rural, and economically disadvantaged patients with cancer who are under the care of an oncology nurse navigator are better prepared to begin treatment and require fewer services than non-navigated peers, according to study findings published in the Oncology Nursing Forum (ONF). Authors Williams et al. said that their results indicate greater patient satisfaction.
Independent Advocates Help Patients With Dementia Navigate Cancer Care
Clinicians have an implicit—if not explicit—obligation to advocate for their patients. However, as health care’s complexity increases, independent advocates can help patients navigate systematic challenges throughout the continuum. Independent advocates follow the patient, not the reimbursement constraints, a chief distinction between us and clinical, facility, or agency case managers.
Oncology Navigation Standards Help Patients Overcome Disparities and Barriers to Care
Patients with cancer, especially those from underrepresented groups or who are experiencing racism, inequalities, social determinants of health factors, and other barriers to care, need oncology nurse navigation now more than ever before. Developed as a “strategy to improve outcomes in marginalized populations by eliminating barriers to timely diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other chronic diseases,” navigation has made a difference for patients since its introduction in 1990.
NCI Recognizes Three ONS Members as Champions and Changemakers
Where there’s cancer, there are oncology nurses. It’s been that way even before 1971, when President Richard Nixon the National Cancer Act to fight the “war on cancer,” which had just become the second leading cause of death in the United States. Born from the act, the (NCI) its 50th anniversary in 2021. As part of the celebration, it named three oncology nurses and ONS members on its champions and changemakers list—, PhD, FAAN, FPCN, CHPN, , RN, PhD, FAAN, and , RN, PhD, FAAN—in recognition of their contributions to cancer prevention, early detection, and symptom science.
Brain Tumor Navigator Role Bridges the Intersection of Cancer and Neuroscience
My role as a nurse navigator, for both patients with cancer and in the neuroscience arena, is the culmination of a 40-year career in oncology nursing. I got my start in nurse navigation 11 years ago. At the time I was working in Hoag’s brain tumor program and noticed that those patients had needs that we weren’t meeting. So, I shared my concern with the program directors and today Hoag continues to develop its brain tumor navigator role.
We Know Oncology Nurse Navigators Improve Patient Experience, but Measurement Is Difficult
In February 2019, my colleagues and I published a retrospective analysis of patient-reported satisfaction comparing those who had contact with an oncology nurse navigator (ONN) and those who did not. We analyzed surveys from patients with outpatient oncology infusion or radiation oncology visits in a 24-month period. First, we sorted the surveys into two groups—self-reported ONN contact (n = 315) and self-reported no contact with an ONN (n = 172)—and compared satisfaction.
Unique Roles in Oncology Nursing: Oncology Nurse Navigation
As early detection, treatment modalities, and symptom management advance in oncology care, we are seeing an increase in the number of adult and childhood cancer survivors. Added to the unique challenges of comorbid conditions in an aging population, oncology nurses have a lot to juggle in the spectrum of patient care. The relatively new role of the oncology nurse navigator was developed to enhance care coordination in patients with cancer.
How Is ONS Supporting OCM Nursing Practice?
The preliminary outcomes for performance in the first year of the Oncology Care Model (OCM) have shown modest but interesting results for the value-based payment model. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ year-one evaluation examined the initial impact of the new payment model on practice in terms of outcomes related to total cost of care per practice, unplanned hospital and emergency department visits, hospital visits, and patient-reported satisfaction with care for six-month episodes of chemotherapy for beneficiaries from July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017.
How ONS Is Supporting ONNs’ Professional Development
Professional development needs of oncology nurse navigators (ONNs) have not been clearly identified, both for novice and more experienced navigators. Although some work has begun to define training for novice ONNs, most information about education for experienced ONNs comes from evaluation data and anecdotal reports.
Experts Hold Conversations About Access and Affordability at ONS Policy Summit
Nurses should initiate financial conversations with patients early and offer resources to improve access to cancer care, speakers at the on November 13, 2018, concluded. The event, held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, brought together nurses and industry and government experts to address the issue of financial toxicity in today’s cancer care.
ONS Member Receives Biden Cancer Initiative’s FIERCE Award
As a continuation of the National Cancer Moonshot legacy, the Biden Cancer Initiative (BCI) announced its inaugural roster of FIERCE Award recipients, naming 10 transformative healthcare professionals and institutions who have driven change and positively impacted the lives of their patients with cancer. For her work as an oncology nurse navigator and her accomplishments in patient navigation, ONS member Cynthia Cantril, RN, OCN®, CBCN®, MPH, was named one of the BCI’s FIERCE Award recipients at the Biden Cancer Summit Welcome Reception in Washington, DC, on September 20, 2018.
Updated Core Competencies Reflect Evolution of Nurse Navigator Role
Although care coordination and interdisciplinary collaboration are essential components of every oncology nurse’s role, oncology nurse navigators (ONNs) take that work even farther by helping patients and caregivers navigate a complex healthcare system and access much-needed resources. By ONS’s definition, ONNs are key in meeting patient and caregiver needs while providing evidence-based, cost-effective, and quality cancer care by eliminating barriers to timely care.
The Role of Oncology Nursing Navigation Continues to Grow
Oncology nurse navigators (ONNs) fill a critical, ever-growing role in cancer care settings across the country, providing patients with the resources, education, and care coordination they need to successfully navigate their cancer journey. By reducing barriers and burdens on patients and their caregivers, ONNs help lead patients from initial diagnosis, during treatment, into survivorship, and often through end-of-life care.
Lay Patient Navigators Can Help Oncology Nurses Guide Patients Through Cancer Care
Even for medical professionals working in health care every day, the U.S. healthcare system can be incredibly complex. Understanding where to obtain information and how to connect patients to resources can be difficult. For patients, navigating their treatment journey can be—at times—downright impossible. Coordinating care for patients with cancer is a crucial component to successful outcomes and quality cancer care.
How ONS Supports Oncology Nurse Navigators in Care Coordination
When I worked in the clinical setting, like many of you, I guided patients through treatments, prepared them for managing their care at home, celebrated the completion of treatment, and grieved the deaths of many. I coordinated patients’ care.
Bilingual, Bicultural Patient Navigators May Reduce Disparities in Latinas With Breast Cancer
Researchers from the University of Texas (UT) Health San Antonio have found that providing Latinas with breast cancer with a bilingual, bicultural patient navigator can improve access to care and reduce treatment delays. The researchers presented their findings during the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on Tuesday, December 5.
How Oncology Nurse Navigation Contributes to Effective Care Coordination
Well-coordinated care by knowledgeable healthcare providers improves patient-centered care, supports shared decision making, reduces fragmentation of care, and decreases readmissions and emergency room visits. However, patients with complex care needs are often lost in the very systems designed to support them.
Nontraditional Roles in Oncology Nursing
The nursing profession has long been an incubator of innovation. Nurses are continually blazing new trails in clinical care, research, and administration, and the landscape is no different in the specialty of oncology. This article provides an overview of three non-traditional roles in oncology nursing: nurse navigation, nursing informatics, and research nursing.
Leadership Strategies for Nursing Excellence
The triple aim of healthcare is patient satisfaction, quality outcomes, and decreased costs. Navigation is the key to effective care delivery, said Regina Cunningham, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, chief executive officer of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, during the Endnote Session at the Oncology Nurse Advisor Navigation Summit.
What Rising Cancer Costs Are Doing to Patient Well-Being
The cost of cancer has increased substantially over the years and is continuing to trend upward. During a session at the Oncology Nurse Advisor Navigation Summit, Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS, an associate professor of medicine and public policy at Duke Cancer Institute, gave some facts and figures on cancer costs and how these are impacting patient well-being.
Healthy Lifestyle Choices for Survivors of Cancer
The 2012 American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer survivors suggest achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical exercise and following healthy dietary patterns.
Certification and Survivorship Care Plans Present Challenges for Nurse Navigators
During a session at the Oncology Nurse Advisor Navigation Summit, ONS member Pamela J. Haylock, PhD, RN, FAAN, at the Association for Vascular Access in Medina, TX, and Cindy Stern, RN, MSN, CCRP, of the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Network, delivered a joint presentation about some of the hurdles nurse navigators face.
Understanding Precision Medicine Therapeutics
Precision medicine involves the identification of actionable mutations and agents that target those specific pathways. ONS member Debra Wujcik, PhD, RN, FAAN, the director of research at Carevive Systems, Inc., gave an overview of precision medicine therapies at the Oncology Nurse Advisor Navigation Summit.
Best Practices for Managing Patients in Palliative Care
Palliative care is a patient-centered approach that seeks to optimize quality of life. Advocacy is also important, which includes incorporating patient and family goals into the care plan, promoting communication, actively managing symptoms, promoting and nurturing transcendence and hope, eliminating patients’ and families’ fears of abandonment, and being therapeutically present. At the Oncology Nurse Advisor Navigation Summit, Bonnie Freeman, DNP, RN, ANP, CT, ACHPN, a nurse practitioner in the Department of Supportive Care Medicine at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, CA, discussed the best strategies related to palliative care.
Tackling Adherence as More Oral Therapies Come to Market
As many as 25%–30% of all new antineoplastic agents in development are estimated to be oral, and almost half of the 300 medications in phase II and III clinical trials are oral medications. A paradigm shift is taking place in chemotherapy delivery. During a session at the Oncology Nurse Advisor Navigation Summit, ONS member Jan Tipton, MSN, RN, AOCN®, at the University of Toledo Medical Center in Ohio, discussed how cancer is making a shift to oral medications.
An Overview of Colorectal and Pancreatic Cancers
Colorectal cancer (CRC) represents 8% of all new cancer cases and 8.4% of all cancer deaths, with a five-year survival rate of 64.9% (between 2007–2013). Pancreatic cancer represents 3.2% of all new cancer cases and 7.2% of all cancer deaths, with a five-year survival rate of just 8.2% (between 2007–2013). ONS member Christine Guarnieri, MSN, RN-BC, OCN®, of Huntington Hospital in New York, discussed both of these cancers at the Oncology Nurse Advisor Navigation Summit.
Use Outcomes and Metrics to Improve Navigation Strategies
ONS member Judy B. Koutlas RN, MS, OCN®, manager of oncology navigation at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, NC, discussed best practices and metrics related to navigation programs to improve nursing performance and patient quality of care during a session at the Oncology Nurse Advisor Navigation Summit.
Lay Patient Navigators May Provide a Solution for an Overworked Nursing Climate
With the growing demand for cancer services and a shrinking workforce, new ideas and innovative approaches are needed. During a session at the Oncology Nurse Advisor Navigation Summit, ONS member Jean B. Sellers, RN, MSN, administrative clinical director at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill, discussed the current landscape and future of navigation services.
Members Meet to Lead ONS Into the Future
As Oncology Nursing Month, May saw celebrations at the ONS 42nd Annual Congress and in our workplaces. Nurses on ONS staff enjoyed recognition and celebration of their commitment to our mission and you. They partner closely with members who volunteer their time and expertise in developing initiatives and priorities for ONS. I would like to describe a few of those initiatives and work groups that have met at the national office in the first six months of 2017.
Updated Competencies Outline Oncology Nurse Navigator Role From Novice to Expert
Based on the results of the oncology nurse navigator (ONN) role delineation survey and feedback from ONS membership, ONS evaluated and updated its ONN Core Competencies. Several significant changes were made.