The Oncology Nursing Society’s (ONS) new “Oncology Nurse Navigation Role and Qualifications” position statement addresses the critical roles and requirements of the oncology nurse navigator (ONN) and the qualifications necessary to meet those requirements, which include certification through a National Commission for Certifying Agencies–accredited organization. The full position statement
is available on the ONS website and will be published in a future 2015 issue of the Oncology Nursing Forum
“Cancer treatment is complex. Patients and families benefit from the care coordination efforts of an ONN,” said ONS President Margaret Barton-Burke, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Our goal is to support and promote the role and qualifications of the ONN in the delivery of evidence-based, cost-effective and quality patient-centered care.”
ONNs guide patients with cancer, along with their families and caregivers, through the entire healthcare continuum—from prevention and screening to diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and end of life.
Limitations in published research and the inability to replicate navigation programs and processes often relate to the absence of standardized navigation roles, job descriptions, processes, and ONN qualifications, such as credentials, competencies, education, preparation, and experience. ONS calls for additional research to systematically characterize and compare navigator activities within and across clinical programs.
“ONNs greatly contribute to nursing research that supports the understanding of nurse-sensitive, patient-specific outcomes resulting from oncology nurse navigation,” said Jean Sellers, RN, MSN, ONS Nurse Navigator Special Interest Group coordinator.
The position statement released today complements other ONS resources related to navigation and certification.
ONS is a professional association of more than 37,000 members committed to promoting excellence in oncology nursing and the transformation of cancer care. Since 1975, ONS has provided a professional community for oncology nurses, developed evidence-based education programs and treatment information, and advocated for patient care, all in an effort to improve quality of life and outcomes for patients with cancer and their families. Learn more at www.ons.org.