NCPD Article

Patient Assessment: Using the Oncology Nurse Navigator Patient Assessment for Rural and Other Resource-Poor Settings

Nora Flucke

Colleen Sullivan-Moore

rural settings, resource-poor settings, oncology nurse navigator, barriers to care
CJON 2021, 25(6), 729-734. DOI: 10.1188/21.CJON.729-734

Oncology nurse navigators (ONNs) rely on assessment tools to identify patient priorities so that care may be expedited along the cancer continuum. Few nonproprietary assessment tools exist for ONNs who work in rural and other resource-poor settings to reliably identify and track patient needs and barriers for seamless and timely oncology care.


  • Patients in rural areas face a higher risk of dying from cancer than their urban counterparts. 
  • This disparity is attributed to persistent, yet modifiable, differences in social determinants of health and access barriers to oncology services.
  • To mitigate disparities, ONNs who practice in rural or other resource-poor areas need standardized assessment tools to reliably and efficiently identify patient needs and barriers to care before developing shared care plans. This article introduces the ONN Patient Assessment©, a nonproprietary patient needs and barriers assessment tool.
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