Resources for Oncology Nurse Navigators

Oncology nurse navigators (ONNs) are critical in helping patients achieve optimal outcomes during diagnosis, treatment, and navigating the healthcare system throughout cancer treatment. The goal of navigation is to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality by eliminating barriers to timely access to cancer care, which may be financial, psychological, logistic, or related to communication or the healthcare delivery system. ONS offers the following resources to support new and experienced ONNs to support successful program cancer program accreditation, patient education, process development, and ONN best practices.

Role Delineation Study

The 2016 role delineation study (RDS) updates the findings from the previous 2011 study to recognize the expanding use of ONNs and their unique skill set. The goal of the 2016 RDS was to define the current role of the ONN and determine whether data from this new survey would support the development of an ONN certification examination.

Core Competencies

The ONN Core Competencies outline the fundamental knowledge, skills, and expertise required for ONNs to perform proficiently in this role. Developed by a team of ONS members who work as ONNs, the competencies are the result of a multistep process that included analysis of current literature and practice, feedback from practicing ONNs, and review by established ONN experts within the field. Within the competencies is a professional practice framework that articulates the oncology nurse navigator practice model and role function.

Position Statement

Role of the Oncology Nurse Navigator Throughout the Cancer Trajectory

Patient navigation services continue to demonstrate benefits for patients and healthcare institutions. However, the best type of navigator to use in particular situations has not been delineated. ONS believes that the oncology nurse navigator provides added benefit to navigation programs because they are uniquely qualified to provide clinical support and leadership as well as coordinate quality, patient-centered care.

Download the Role of the Oncology Nurse Navigator Throughout the Cancer Trajectory position statement.


The Nurse Navigator and Care Coordinator ONS Community provides a place for ONNs to build their professional network and share their expertise with other ONNs. ONNs can use this platform to join relevant discussions; ask and answer questions from ONNs from around the globe; and build a knowledge base of oncology nursing best practices, sample documents, presentations, and more.


From the development of navigation in Harlem in 1990 to the process of developing, implementing, and evaluating a navigation program, Oncology Nurse Navigation: Delivering Patient-Centered Care Across the Continuum provides a complete overview of oncology nursing navigation. Concrete examples and tangible tools used by various nurse navigation models across the cancer continuum are provided as well as a variety of community and national resources that are vital to oncology nurse navigators

Oncology Nurse Navigation Case Studies examines the ONN role in facilitating access to treatment; alleviating care barriers; and providing support, resources, and education throughout the disease and treatment trajectory. This book also explores the application of successful navigation programs, as well as collaboration efforts between ONNs and lay navigators.