October 2015 Vol 6, NO 5

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Letters from Lillie

Implementing New Navigation Certification and Survivorship Care Plans

Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, ONN-CG 

Hello colleagues! We have another great issue of the Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship (JONS) for you, filled with practical information that you can apply to your clinical navigation setting. Take a look!

When it comes to navigation, many terms are being tossed around—nurse navigator, patient navigator, lay navigator, even GPS nurse. Well, the same type of terminology tossing (and subsequent confusion) also relates to certification. Is getting a certificate the same as being certified as a navigator? The answer is no. Read about certification and its importance to the patients we take care of and to our healthcare colleagues to better understand the distinction between these terms.

As you know, AONN+ believes this is so important that we have developed and implemented a certification program that is specific for oncology nurse navigators, and we are working with George Washington University Cancer Institute to facilitate certification for lay navigators. (Our beta test of the general oncology nurse navigation exam is taking place at our Sixth Annual Conference in Atlanta the first week in October.)

Read about the personal journal that one nurse navigator says transformed her nursing role into that of an oncology nurse navigator. Best of all, she says, “It’s not a job; it’s a joy.”

Navigators live and breathe identification and resolution of barriers to care and treatment. Taking care of a rural population of patients with cancer can be even harder because of the specific barriers they experience related to their geographic settings. Learn from an experienced navigator how she and her team have worked to overcome those barriers.

In keeping with the title of this journal—oncology navigation and survivorship—we would be remiss if we didn’t include here peer-reviewed articles targeting the survivorship aspect of our mission. One such article in this issue provides a window into how one institution implemented a survivorship care plan and is transitioning its patients from completion of the acute phase of cancer treatment into survivorship.

Another article tied to survivorship provides great insight into what our patients know and don’t know or don’t remember about their cancer treatment. Do your cancer survivors know what treatment(s) they have had, and what their risk for disease recurrence is? This team set out to gauge the extent of knowledge about these issues among their population of cancer survivors and learned a lot in the process.

I will close by giving you a gentle nudge. Please consider submitting an article for publication. I know that many of you are doing amazing things in the field of navigation and survivorship, and it is worth your time and effort to share that knowledge with others. Whether you are new to the field or a seasoned navigator, or perhaps an administrator of a cancer program, we want to learn from you so that we can share your knowledge and insights with our AONN+ members. I look forward to reading your articles in the near future!

With kind regards,

Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS


University Distinguished Service Associate Professor of Breast Cancer, Depts of Surgery and Oncology;

Administrative Director, the Johns Hopkins Breast Center; Director, Cancer Survivorship Programs at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins;
Associate Professor, JHU School of Medicine, Depts of Surgery, Oncology & Gynecology and Obstetrics;
Associate Professor, JHU School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD

E-mail: shockli@jhmi.edu  

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