Nurse navigators are relatively new in the field of health care. But they are becoming an essential part of the patient care experience. This article defines what a nurse navigator is, the requirements for becoming one, and what nurse navigators do.
Nurse navigators may also be called care coordinators, case managers, or patient advocates. They help meet a patient’s needs throughout the course of their treatment, which includes educating them, coordinating care across departments, and acting as a liaison between patients and other caregivers.
Nurse navigators are becoming an increasingly important part of the patient care process because they help keep patients from getting readmitted to the hospital, reduce medication and hospital costs, and reduce visits to the emergency room. They provide support to patients throughout the treatment process.
To become a nurse navigator, a nurse must have their RN license. To obtain an RN license, states require nurses to graduate from an associate’s degree program or bachelor’s degree program that has been approved by the state. After graduating from an approved program, nurses must meet any other requirements that the state has for a license.
After becoming an RN, the prospective nurse navigator must obtain their oncology nurse certification. Successful nurse navigators typically work with patients with cancer and have a deep sense of compassion. Their goal is to help patients overcome small and large issues as they go through treatment.
A nurse navigator fills many roles. They work to coordinate care with other clinicians like radiologists, pharmacists and oncologists. In addition, they work to coordinate appointments with other programs and therapies available to the patients like art and music therapy, rehab, genetic testing, and nutritional counseling. Navigators guide patients and their families through their treatment plan and help them understand their diagnosis. If patients require community resources, they work with social workers to connect them with the ones that meet their needs.
Nurse navigators are available to answer questions at any time of the day or night to answer concerns about symptoms, medications, lifestyle changes, and other questions.
Nurses looking for work like a nurse navigator role can turn to NexNurse. NexNurse helps nurses find the right job from employers that are seeking to hire them. Creating a profile on NexNurse is free. What are you waiting for? Create your profile today.