Oncology Nurse Navigator Core Competencies Provide Ultimate Standardization and Definition of the Role

PITTSBURGH, PA – November 14, 2013 – Oncology nurse navigators play a critical role in the care of patients with cancer. They are with the patient, family, and caregiver every step of the cancer journey offering individualized assistance to make sure they understand their diagnosis and treatment options. Oncology nurse navigators provide emotional support and education to reduce anxiety and encourage informed decision making. By working with patients to overcome practical or psychosocial barriers such as lack of transportation, financial concerns, or mistrust of the healthcare system, oncology nurse navigators promote seamless and timely patient-centered cancer care.

The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has released Oncology Nurse Navigator Core Competencies, a compilation of 40 competencies divided into four categories – education, professionalism, coordination of care, and communication. Also included is an oncology nurse navigator practice framework and a clear definition of what an oncology nurse navigator does.

“Oncology nurses look to ONS as their professional organization to define the role of an oncology nurse navigator and to support standardization of the role,” said Lori McMullen, MSN, RN, OCN®, project leader for the Oncology Nurse Navigator Core Competencies. “The Oncology Nurse Navigator Core Competencies will provide a solid foundation and a clear definition of the role for nurse navigators and employers and as they establish and grow navigation programs.”

The Oncology Nurse Navigator Core Competencies are available on the ONS website.