Navigating Your Patients, Navigating Your Career

July 2017 Vol 8, No 7
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG
Editor-in-Chief, JONS; Co-Founder, AONN+; University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer, Administrative Director, The Johns Hopkins Breast Center; Director, Johns Hopkins Cancer Survivorship Programs; Professor of Surgery and Oncology, JHU School of Medicine; Co-Creator, Work Stride-Managing Cancer at Work

Dear Navigators,

I recently saw a definition of the word “navigate” that read: to plan and direct the route or course of a ship, aircraft, or other form of transportation, especially by using instruments or maps.

I know most people would associate the word that we use to describe our profession with a nautical journey, but for us, the word has a deeper meaning. Through our efforts in navigation, we directly impact lives of the people we care for. In rereading the above definition, we certainly aim to “plan and direct the route or course” for our patients, but it’s that next phrase that caught my eye, “especially by using instruments or maps.”

For far too long, we navigated by instinct. We finally have the instruments and maps to ensure that we are on the most successful course possible for our patients. Through our use of validated tools and the newly released AONN+ Metrics, we can confidently profess that we are on the right track. In this issue, we feature an insightful interview with the AONN+ Standardized Metrics Project lead, Tricia Strusowski (click here). I hope you enjoy our exchange with her, and I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the metrics on our website and incorporate them into your daily practice.

In reflecting further, navigation isn’t only what we should provide our patients, it is a concept that we should use to enhance our professional lives. When was the last time you actively navigated your professional life and invested in yourself, your skills, your career? I think it’s very easy, and quite likely, that we get entrenched in our careers with our heads down, moving forward toward ever-mounting goals. If we effectively navigate our careers and look up from time to time, we’ll find there are many wonderful, empowering opportunities to enhance our skills as navigators. To this end, I encourage you to attend the AONN+ Annual Navigation & Survivorship Conference on November 16-19, 2017, in Orlando, FL. While there, register for the certification exam in either general oncology nurse navigation or general patient navigation.

Navigation is a beautiful principle to live by, whether it’s in charting a course for success for your patient or yourself. My hope for you is that you use the tools available to efficiently and effectively direct your route to the desired destination. And I wish you smooth sailing.


Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, ONN-CG
Editor-in-Chief, JONS; Program Director, AONN+
University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer; Administrative Director, the Johns Hopkins Breast Center; Director, Cancer Survivorship Programs at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins; Professor, JHU School of Medicine, Depts of Surgery and Oncology; Cofounder, Johns Hopkins Medicine Managing Cancer at Work
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Last modified: June 11, 2018

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