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Nurse Navigator Core Competencies: An Update to Reflect the Evolution of the Role

Kristen Baileys
Lori McMullen
Barbara Lubejko
Deborah Christensen
Pamela J. Haylock
Traudi Rose
Jean Sellers
Dominique Srdanovic
CJON 2018, 22(3), 272-281 DOI: 10.1188/18.CJON.272-281

Background: The Oncology Nursing Society published Oncology Nurse Navigator (ONN) Core Competencies in 2013. However, a 2016 role delineation study (RDS) indicated that the role had evolved since their release. The RDS also indicated that a growing number of nurse navigators have extensive oncology and navigation experience.

Objectives: The update to the competencies was undertaken to identify current responsibilities of ONNs and differentiate novice from expert practice.

Methods: A list of competencies was developed based on a literature review, evaluation of the 2013 competencies, and input from six expert ONNs. These draft competencies were vetted through field and expert review, with subsequent updates.

Findings: The 2017 competencies include 52 competencies: 40 novice and 12 expert. Two models are included to help elucidate professional practice and show the impact ONNs have across the cancer care continuum. These can be used to more clearly define the role and optimize efficacy.

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