The following article features coverage from the 2018 Oncology Nurse Advisor Navigation Summit. Click here to read more news highlights and expert perspective from the Summit on Oncology Nurse Advisor. 

Now that oncology navigation has become integrated into many cancer care settings and many oncology nursing navigators (ONN) have moved past the novice phase of the role, there is a need to expand opportunities for the experienced ONN as well as those who provide administrative support to become knowledgeable about a broader range of topics. 

Many forces are expanding the use of oncology navigation. One key force is the adoption of new payment and care delivery models. Michele Galioto, RN, MSN, began this session by providing an overview of how current trends in payment models, use of big data and quality measurement are supporting and impacting navigation programs. She described the data and trends that led to legislation that is shaping current and future models. In addition, Ms Galioto discussed how quality measures have become essential for innovations in these new models and how the ONN can leverage these measures to demonstrate their value. 

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The Oncology Care Model (OCM) is one innovation in care delivery being piloted by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation. The second speaker, Nikolas Buescher, provided an in-depth description of the requirements for participation in this model and shared the experience of his organization in implementing the model. Some key requirements of the OCM include documentation of a care plan including specific components, continuous quality improvement, and the provision of specific navigation services. Throughout his presentation, Mr Buescher addressed the importance of navigators in the success of the model and how he believes that payment models such as the OCM will impact and support navigation in the future.

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Another challenge in the development of navigation programs and the role of the ONN is development of novice ONNs. Barbara Lubejko, MS, RN, discussed the challenges that are often encountered and tools that are available to help. She discussed efforts to more clearly define the role and scope of practice of the ONN. These efforts have led to competencies that can be used in many ways, such as the development of position descriptions, identification of good candidates for the role, determining learning needs of the novice ONN and the development of performance and developmental goals. Ms Lubejko also discussed current efforts to identify the specific learning needs and potential training opportunities for those nurses new to the role.

It is anticipated that oncology navigation, including the ONN role, will continue to evolve and expand. There will continue to be a need for more seasoned ONNs and administrators to anticipate changes and respond.