Nurse navigation has become an area of increasing interest over the past several years. The American Cancer Society National Navigation Roundtable recently provided an extensive update on the state of patient navigation and its role in oncology care.1 This update highlights the effect patient navigation has had on the healthcare experience. The topics covered in the supplement include professional standards, the successful implementation of patient navigation in cancer care, the roles of patient navigators during COVID-19, and several other topics.

Nurse navigators play a significant role as patients enter the healthcare system. They answer clinical questions about a patient’s diagnosis, provide information on treatment options based on evidence-based guidelines, ensure patients have all essential outside records, and coordinate multidisciplinary appointments to facilitate a seamless transition into cancer treatment.

In addition, nurse navigators educate patients and families about support services offered at the center to ease anxiety surrounding a diagnosis. Financial concerns, other ongoing health issues, scheduling, follow-up, and appropriate personal care are all stressors while trying to navigate what is often a complex health system.

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Nurse navigators are instrumental in providing needed support for patients. With expertise in oncology nursing, these professionals are able to provide guidance for patients as they deal with the stresses of understanding their condition and what that means for the future, as well as the responsibilities of caring for themselves.

A patient’s ability to traverse the full spectrum of cancer care is a crucial element in improving overall patient experience. At Fox Chase Cancer Center, we offer a unique approach to empowering patients by offering services that enable them to take their care into their own hands confidently once the hospital setting is in their rearview mirror.

Our transitional care nurse navigators discuss with patients and their families what the patient’s care needs may be when it’s time to be discharged. They work with the multidisciplinary team to organize care after discharge and schedule all follow-up appointments. Additionally, these nurses promote care coordination and make referrals to home-care agencies that can assist patients after they arrive home.

As a comprehensive cancer center, our role is to fill the gaps in the patient experience with qualified professionals whose goals are not only to provide top-of-the-line care, but to do so across the entire cancer care continuum. With the work of transitional nurse navigators, we can help fill these gaps in the patient experience by offering our expertise beyond hospital walls.

Anna L. Rodriguez is chief nursing officer and vice president of Nursing and Patient Services at Fox Chase Cancer Center.


1. American Cancer Society National Navigation Roundtable. A decade later: the state of patient navigation in cancer. Cancer. 2022;128(S13):2553-2677.