While more hospitals and health systems are launching nurse navigation programs, many still have not. Why is now the right time to add these valuable services? Five nurse navigators make the case.
Note: Click on each nurse navigator’s name to read more of their thoughts about the importance and value of navigation.
1. “… the role of the nurse navigator is so beneficial to oncology patients and their families. Having a navigation and survivorship program sets your organization apart from others that do not offer the service. Patient satisfaction, making sure things run smoothly for the patient, and having the patient and family feel supported make it worth the while for organizations to invest in a navigation program.”
— Amy Tinlin, RN, OCN, oncology nurse navigator for the Memorial Regional Cancer Center at Memorial Hospital of South Bend (Ind.)
2. “Navigators can be the first impression a patient develops of an organization. If we can demonstrate that we care and appreciate how they are feeling from the very beginning, even if it’s by phone or email, they will stay within our organization and become empowered and in control of the process. The sense of control we are able to provide during a time when one can feel out of control is so valuable. A nurse navigator can [also] provide downstream revenue by encouraging patients to complete their testing within our institution. This helps with continuity, and the patient truly feels part of a multidisciplinary team.”
— Jennie McLaughlin Tarica, MSN, RN, CBPN-IC, breast cancer nurse navigator for the Sullivan Breast Center at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C.
3. “All patients deserve to have the personalized care, support, and guidance that a nurse navigator offers. It is my hope that everyone involved in health care recognizes the importance of navigation and how patients feel knowing they always have a lifeline to reach out to before, during, and after treatment.”
— Meghan Walker, RN, MSN, CBCN, breast nurse navigator for The Holloway Breast Health Center at Paoli (Pa.) Hospital
4. “Each person with any diagnosis of cancer should have the peace of mind knowing they are being cared for and monitored by a nurse navigator. I hope this becomes a National Comprehensive Cancer Network guideline — that a nurse navigator touches every positive cancer diagnosis. Any time we can relieve a patient of added stress and confusion, the better.”
— Stacey Newmyer, RN, nurse navigator for Mercy Health Comprehensive Breast Center in Muskegon, Mich.
5. “The role of the navigator in the cancer world has become such a valuable asset to the patients that I have often wondered why this idea has not moved into other areas of medicine. Anyone dealing with a chronic or life threatening illness of any kind could benefit from the help of a navigator.”
— Diane Wofsey, RN, BSN, CN-BN, nurse navigator for Mercy Medical Center in Canton, Ohio