Volume 4, Issue 1, January 2013
Coordinator’s Message
Looking Toward 2013

Lori McMullen, MSN, RN, OCN®
Ewing, NJ

Hello Nurse Navigator (NAV) SIG members. These past several months have been very exciting in the world of navigation; I have so much news to share!

The leadership team has developed the SIG’s strategic goals for 2012–2016, and they have been approved. The goals are posted on our Virtual Community. Please take time to review them. If a project sounds interesting to you, please contact me or one of the other members of the leadership team.

As we look toward 2013, the world of nurse navigation is gaining the acknowledgement within ONS that we, as nurse navigators, have recognized for years. In September, ONS committed to defining nurse navigator competencies and invited the NAV SIG to provide expert opinion. The first draft, which is close to being refined, then will be sent out to SIG members for their input. After this initial review, the competencies will be reviewed by field experts. The goal is to have a final product out in the spring.

In the December issue of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, look for results of the Nurse Navigation Role Delineation Survey. Data were collected in 2010 with the help of SIG members who replied to the online survey. The survey identifies foundational role functions that are common to all nurse navigators. In addition, an issue of Seminars in Oncology Nursing will be dedicated entirely to the navigation process. Look for the issue to be published early in 2013.

Lastly, data from the Patient Navigation Research Program have been released, and we are fortunate to have that information included in this newsletter (see next article).

Thanks to all of you who responded to the Nurse Navigation Needs Assessment Survey. The time that you took to share your ideas and opinions is appreciated!

Happy New Year to all!

The Nurse Navigator SIG Newsletter is produced by members of the
Nurse Navigator SIG and ONS staff and is not a peer-reviewed publication.

Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2013

Navigation News
Progress in the Science and Practice of Patient Navigation

Steven R. Patierno, PhD
Deputy Director, Duke Cancer Institute
Durham, NC

Christina Cianflone, JD
Director, Office of Cancer Health Policy, Duke Cancer Institute
Durham, NC

Perhaps one of the most exciting developments in patient navigation is the recent publication of the first fruits of the National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society funded Patient Navigation Research Program (PNRP) in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Accompanied by brief commentaries from Harold P. Freeman, MD, and Tim Byers, MD, the site-specific T1 results of PNRP sites based in Columbus, OH; Denver, CO; San Antonio, TX; Boston, MA; Washington, DC; Tampa, FL; and Rochester, NY, were published. T1 refers to one of the central questions of PRNP: does patient navigation decrease the time delay between suspicious finding and diagnostic resolution?

The results are very exciting. The weight of evidence shows that patient navigation reduces the time from abnormal finding to diagnosis in regard to breast, cervical, colorectal, and prostate cancer (Byers, 2012). It is likely that patient navigation will help all patients but be most beneficial to those experiencing the largest spectrum of barriers to getting access to quality care. A considerable number of follow-up papers are in preparation for publication that deal with T2 (time between diagnosis and the onset of treatment), cost effectiveness, patient satisfaction, barriers, interventions, and more.

In other news, the executive committee of the National Patient Navigation Leadership Consortium is working hard to capture this data-driven momentum with plans to reconvene the Consortium and release a consensus paper on recommendations for moving patient navigation toward becoming a more permanent fixture in the healthcare delivery process. Discussions are underway to explore the policy implications of patient navigation, particularly in light of the ongoing rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the potential impact of a massive influx of newly insured individuals in the cancer healthcare infrastructure. We are encouraged that patient navigation will continue to evolve as a cost-conscious, sustainable intervention for improving access to life-saving cancer care for all patients but especially for the poor; the uninsured and underinsured; and all medically underserved populations and persons.

Byers, T. (2012). Assessing the value of patient navigation for completing cancer screening. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 21, 1618-1619. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-0964

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2013

AONN Third Annual Navigation and Survivorship Conference

Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS
Baltimore, MD

The Academy of Oncology Nurse Navigators (AONN) Third Annual Navigation and Survivorship Conference was held in September 2012 with a record turnout. More than 400 registered participants attended this energizing conference. Prior to the conference, I was asked to serve as the program director for AONN. My leadership and advocacy skills will be critical as this organization moves forward. Membership continues to grow, with representation from several thousand oncology nurse navigators and other navigation professionals. The energy generated at the conference continues. Future plans include

  • Educational webinars
  • Virtual interest groups in specialty areas including phases of navigation and survivorship care as an additional way to enable members to network with one another
  • The creation of a robust resource database that will provide access to special resources for patients who require navigation and are supported by an AONN member
  • The expansion of the Journal of Oncology Navigation and Survivorship to encourage evidence-based articles reflecting the importance of this work
  • AONN’s fourth annual conference in Memphis, TN, from November 15–17, 2013.

Visit AONN’s Web site for additional information.

Additional corporate partners are being invited, as well as those who may have special services and programs that can help to strengthen the role of nurses and patient navigators in cancer care.

For more information about AONN, please contact Andrea Boylston, AONN project manager, via e-mail or at 732-992-1538.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2013

Changing the Face of Cancer Care Fourth Annual Conference

Sharon Francz, BHA
Rockville, MD

The landscape of navigation continues to be diverse across various healthcare settings. When the National Coalition of Oncology Nurse Navigators (NCONN) first formed in 2008, the majority of nurse navigators were employed by hospital systems. Today, the trend is changing as we see an increase in navigation programs throughout inpatient and outpatient settings. Providing tools, resources, and support to new navigators and navigation programs continues to be one of NCONN’s primary goals. In addition, professional organizations that support navigation for patients with cancer are critical to ensure that timely access and patient care remains the focus of our work.

As the American College of Surgeons (ACOS) Commission on Cancer Accreditation requires navigation processes to be in place by 2015, we will see more and more programs emerge. Working together, we can ensure that these programs are developed utilizing the ACOS standards as a guide, as the role of oncology nurse navigators within the community and professional arena continues to be defined.

NCONN hosted its fourth annual conference, “Changing the Face of Cancer Care,” from October 4–6 in Nashville, TN. More than 385 participants attended. Sessions offered addressed grant writing; navigating insurance; financial and legal issues; disease-specific navigation; basic navigation; and expanding programs. Breakout sessions focused on the ACOS standards, survivorship, and improving quality of life for patients and caregivers.

Save the date! The fifth annual NCONN conference will be held in the Inner Harbor area in Baltimore, MD, from October 10–12, 2013.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2013

Exclusive Articles Available Before Print

The Oncology Nursing Forum (ONF) and the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (CJON) are unveiling advanced print exclusive articles to give our readers access to important, cutting-edge content ahead of print.

Starting in October 2012, articles from the journals will be available on the main ONF and CJON pages. These articles will be open access, meaning they are available to members and non-members alike, until they appear in print at a later date. At that time, the content will become password-protected like other articles that appear in print as online exclusives in the journals.

The first article to receive the advanced print exclusive designation is “Outcomes of an Uncertainty Management Intervention in Younger African American and Caucasian Breast Cancer Survivors,” by Barbara B. Germino, PhD, RN; Merle H. Mishel, PhD, RN, FAAN; Jamie Crandell, PhD; Laura Porter, PhD; Diane Blyler, PhD; Coretta Jenerette, PhD, RN; and Karen M. Gil, PhD. The authors propose a Younger Breast Cancer Survivor Uncertainty Management Intervention (YS-UMI) model as a way to improve uncertainty and lessen the amount of breast cancer-specific concerns that young (< 50 years) breast cancer survivors face. This exciting content also includes a podcast discussion with first author Barbara B. Germino. In addition, journal club questions are offered at the conclusion of the article so you can continue the discussion with your nurse colleagues.

Request more information about the advanced print exclusives from ONF and CJON.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2013

Journals Now Available in Digital Format

Did you know that the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (CJON) and Oncology Nursing Forum (ONF) are now available in digital format? To access the digital editions, click on the journal you wish to view at www.ons.org/Publications and follow the instructions featured prominently in the top center of the page. The digital editions are a members-only benefit, so make sure you have your ONS username and password handy.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2013

What’s the Best Time of Year for ONS Congress?

Does the ONS Annual Congress occur at a busy time of year for you? Currently, Congress is held in either April or May each year. Which month(s) of the year would you most likely be able to fit Congress into your schedule? Tell us in our poll.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2013


RE:Connect is a blog written by oncology nurses on a variety of topics of interest to other nurses in the specialty, including facing day-to-day challenges at work, juggling busy lives at home, and keeping up to date with the magnitude of information available for practicing nurses. This month on RE:Connect, you’ll find the following new discussions.

As a reader, join in on the conversation and connect with other oncology nurse readers by posting your own stories, tips, ideas, and suggestions in the comments section at the end of each blog post.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2013

Five-Minute In-Service

In the latest issue of ONS Connect, the Five-Minute In-Service takes a look at how Cytogenetics Helps Determine Diagnosis and Prognosis for Multiple Myeloma.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2013

ONS Podcasts of Interest

ONF Podcasts
Do all patients experience sexuality problems associated with diagnosis and treatment? What is the best approach to discuss sexuality with patients? What are nursing interventions to assist patients with sexuality issues?

This month, Pam McGrath, BSocWk, MA, PhD, will discuss these questions and present implications for oncology nurses during a podcast interview about her November 2012 ONF article "The Impact on Sexuality After Diagnosis and Treatment for a Hematologic Malignancy: Findings From Australia." Previous research investigating the impact of diagnosis and treatment on sexuality has been limited. This qualitative research, which was part of a larger study exploring issues associated with the experience of survivorship, expands on previous research by exploring sexuality in patients undergoing treatment for hematologic malignancies. (Listen to ONF podcasts!)

CJONPlus Podcasts
The use of oral hormonal, chemotherapeutic, and targeted biologic agents has increased exponentially over the past decade. Practices to ensure safe storage, handling, administration, and disposal of these agents are needed to prevent unnecessary exposure of hazardous substances to the environment, professionals, patients, family members, and caretakers. In this CJONPlus podcast, author Joanne Lester, PhD, CRNP, AOCN®, discusses her December 2012 CJON article “Safe Handling and Administration Considerations of Oral Anticancer Agents in the Clinical and Home Setting.” The article focuses on the safe handling and administration of oral antineoplastic medications that can be given in clinical settings as well as in homes or alternative settings such as retirement homes and assisted-living facilities. (Listen to CJON podcasts!)

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2013

Membership Information

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  January 2013

Nurse Navigator SIG Officers

Coordinator (2010-2012)
Lori McMullen, MSN, RN, OCN®
Ewing, NJ

Coordinator-Elect (2012-2013)
Carol Bush, BS, RN
Wichita, KS

Dominique Srdanovic, RN, OCN®, MA
Stamford, CT

Co-Virtual Community Administrator
Marie Borsellino, RN, BSN, OCN®, CBPN-CMA


Co-Virtual Community Administrator
Ellen Carr, RN, MSN, AOCN®

ONS Nurse Navigator SIG Liaison to AONN & NCONN
Jean B. Sellers, RN, MSN

ONS Copy Editor
Jessica Moore, BA, BS
Pittsburgh, PA

Know someone who would like to receive a print copy of this newsletter?
To print a copy of this newsletter from your home or office computer, click here or on the printer icon located on the SIG Newsletter front page. Print copies of each online SIG newsletter also are available through the ONS National Office. To have a copy mailed to you or another SIG member, contact Membership/Leadership Specialist Carol DeMarco at cdemarco@ons.org or 866-257-4ONS, ext. 6230.

View past newsletters.

ONS Membership & Component Relations Department Contact Information

Brian K. Theil, CAE, Director of Membership and Component Relations Department

Diane Scheuring, MBA, CAE, CMP, Manager of Member Services

Carol DeMarco, Membership Specialist—SIGs

The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) does not assume responsibility for the opinions expressed and information provided by authors or by Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Acceptance of advertising or corporate support does not indicate or imply endorsement of the company or its products by ONS or the SIG. Web sites listed in the SIG newsletters are provided for information only. Hosts are responsible for their own content and availability.

Oncology Nursing Society
125 Enterprise Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15275-1214

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