April 2016 VOL 7, NO 3

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Letters from Lillie

Making Progress with Patient Navigation Certification

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

dslillieshockney1Hello to all of our Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) members!

I hope that you are ready to be wowed by this April issue of the Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship (JONS), and I would like to provide you with some notable highlights of what this edition includes.

We know about the impact a cancer diagnosis has on our patients—especially as it relates to psychosocial distress—but have you ever truly considered looking into how your patient perceives their risk for disease recurrence? I invite you to read a feature article by Annamma Sam, PhD, APRN, WHNP-BC, Advanced Practice Nurse, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, that provides insight on this issue, specifically with regard to survivors of gynecologic cancer (see “Relationship Between Illness Perception and Fear of Cancer Recurrence and Psychological Distress Among Survivors of Gynecologic Cancer” on page 12).

Something else we are privy to is that the concept of navigation began with breast cancer as its initial focus. By encouraging women to get mammography screenings, more lives were—and continue to be—saved; the same applies to screenings for gynecologic cancers, too. Read about the value of patient navigation in these 2 patient populations, in addition to whether its impact reduced healthcare disparities, in another featured article (see “Patient Navigation Success Varies Among Different Groups of Women with Breast and Gynecologic Cancers”).

While we’re on the subject, I’d like to draw the attention of all of our valued readers who are patient navigators. As you already know, we launched the beta test for our Oncology Nurse Navigator−Certified Generalist certification exam last fall, and at the 2016 Seventh Annual Navigation and Survivorship Conference in Las Vegas, NV, we will be launching the official exam for oncology nurse navigators.

Rest assured, we haven’t forgotten about the navigators who are not nurses but still fulfill a very important, nonclinical navigation role! Read about all of the work that has gone into developing a certification exam for patient navigators, which will be beta-tested at our May 2016 AONN+ East Coast Regional Meeting in New Orleans, LA (see “Oncology Patient Navigator−Certified Generalist: Learning Guides Are Here!”).

This issue of JONS also comprises a wealth of learning guides dedicated to providing patient navigators with information about the core competencies of navigation. The learning guide includes information about the basics of navigation, professionalism, communication, healthcare, and enhancing your practice!

I sincerely hope that you enjoy reading this journal, which has specifically been created just for you. Take care, and be well.

Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS

Editor-in-Chief

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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