Fillion et al. (2012) recently designed a conceptual framework for professional cancer navigators describing key functions of professional cancer navigation.
Purpose: Building on this framework, this study defines the core areas of practice and associated competencies for professional cancer navigators.
Methods: The methods used in this study included: literature review, mapping of navigation functions against practice standards and competencies, and validation of this mapping process with professional navigators, their managers and nursing experts and comparison of roles in similar navigation programs.
Findings: Associated competencies were linked to the three identified core areas of practice, which are: 1) providing information and education, 2) providing emotional and supportive care, and 3) facilitating coordination and continuity of care.
Conclusion: Cancer navigators are in a key position to improve patient and family empowerment and continuity of care.
Implications: This is an important step for advancing the role of oncology nurses in navigator positions and identifying areas for further research.