What does the future hold for nurse navigation? Five nurse navigators share their hopes.
Cambria Nwosu: “I hope that the role of nurse navigation continues to grow in other specialty service lines, especially since it solely focuses on the patients and easing their experience through a complicated health system. I hope that onboarding and maintenance tools specific for nurse navigation become more readily available to navigators. Continuing education, particularly in navigation that is not oncology-based, would have to be developed since we work in multiple aspects of the patients care in a different capacity.”
Kherri-Lynn Rego: “I hope that nurse navigation continues to expand and evolve. In a rapidly changing health care system, it is all too easy to forget about the “person” who lies beyond the diagnosis. Having a single resource to help navigate patients through their procedure has a dramatic impact on shared decision-making and remains advantageous to everyone involved in the patient’s care.
“As nurse navigation roles are being formalized around the country, I hope that navigators continue to assume responsibility in acting as a responsible entity that values the core mission of the nursing profession. Coordination of care is one of the most vital elements fueling health care reform today, and nurse navigation lies at the heart of such care.”
Patrick Smith: “According to the American Heart Association, heart failure affects 10 per 1,000 individuals after 65 years of age. This emphasizes the critical need for nurse navigators, not only in heart failure but in all disciplines. The patient population is being admitted with more serious illnesses. Coordinating their care can help facilitate and resolve gaps in care, thereby building a bridge that ensures continuity of care.
“The nurse navigator’s role will no doubt be refined to take on more responsibilities. My hope is that nurse navigators across this country will be leaders in their respective fields with unique talents that will impact every level of healthcare.”
Yamile Leon: “My hope is that nurse navigation continues to establish itself as a valued profession and health care service. Professional organizations such as the Oncology Nursing Society and Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators have already started to pave the way for navigation by establishing professional guidelines and metrics.
“With the assistance of further empirical evidence, I hope that nurse navigation will be able to solidify its value in not only the attainment of care excellence but also positive fiscal outcomes so that institutions may more readily accept nurse navigation as a necessary service that should be provided.”
Tammy Ellison: “I would like to see nurse navigation extended to more disease management in health care. In oncology, which is the field for which I provide navigation, is imperative to have a navigator. However, there is a need for navigation in any chronic illness. Having a navigator in those fields can provide another resource for patients to discuss symptoms and treatments, and make the patient feel valued and important. Another touch-point for any type of disease management can alleviate many fears and make the journey to wellness smoother.”