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Certification Criteria:

  • Provide a copy of your curriculum vitae demonstrating 1 year or 2000 hours of direct patient navigation in practice
  • Provide your job description reflecting your roles and responsibilities
  • Provide a reference letter signed by your employer verifying navigation experience

Core Competencies for an Oncology Patient Navigator–Certified Generalist: Patient Care

  • Facilitate patient-centered care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the treatment of cancer and the promotion of health
  • Assist patients in accessing cancer care and navigating healthcare systems. Assess barriers to care and engage patients and families in creating potential solutions to financial, practical, and social challenges
  • Identify appropriate and credible resources responsive to patient needs (practical, social, physical, emotional, spiritual), taking into consideration reading level, health literacy, culture, language, and amount of information desired. For physical concerns, emotional needs, or clinical information, refer to licensed clinicians
  • Educate patients and caregivers on the multidisciplinary nature of cancer treatment, the roles of team members, and what to expect from the healthcare system. Provide patients and caregivers evidence-based information, and refer to clinical staff to answer questions about clinical information, treatment choices, and potential outcomes
  • Empower patients to communicate their preferences and priorities for treatment to their healthcare team; facilitate shared decision-making in the patient's healthcare
  • Empower patients to participate in their wellness by providing self-management and health promotion resources and referrals
  • Follow up with patients to support adherence to an agreed-upon treatment plan through continued nonclinical barrier assessment and referrals to supportive resources in collaboration with the clinical team

Knowledge for Practice

  • Demonstrate basic understanding of cancer, healthcare systems, and how patients access care and services across the cancer continuum to support and assist patients. NOTE: This domain refers to foundational knowledge applied across other domains
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of medical and cancer terminology
  • Demonstrate familiarity with and know how to access and reference evidence-based information regarding cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of cancer, cancer treatment, and supportive care options, including risks and benefits of clinical trials and integrative therapies
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of health system operations
  • Identify potential physical, psychological, social, and spiritual impacts of cancer and its treatment
  • Demonstrate general understanding of healthcare payment structure, financing, and where to refer patients for answers regarding insurance coverage and financial assistance

Practice-Based Learning and Improvement

  • Improve patient navigation process through continual self-evaluation and quality improvement. Promote and advance the profession
  • Contribute to patient navigation program development, implementation, and evaluation
  • Use evaluation data (barriers to care, patient encounters, resource provision, population health disparities data, and quality indicators) to collaboratively improve navigation process and participate in quality improvement
  • Incorporate feedback on performance to improve daily work
  • Use information technology to maximize efficiency of patient navigator's time
  • Continually identify, analyze, and use new knowledge to mitigate barriers to care
  • Maintain comprehensive, timely, and legible records capturing ongoing patient barriers, patient interactions, barrier resolution, and other evaluation metrics, and report data to show value to administrators and funders
  • Promote navigation role, responsibilities, and value to patients, providers, and the larger community

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

  • Demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families, and health professionals
  • Assess patient capacity to self-advocate; help patients optimize time with their doctors and treatment team (eg, prioritize questions, clarify information with treatment team)
  • Communicate effectively with patients, families, and the public to build trusting relationships across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds
  • Employ active listening and remain solutions-oriented in interactions with patients, families, and members of the healthcare team
  • Encourage active communication between patients/families and healthcare providers to optimize patient outcomes
  • Communicate effectively with navigator colleagues, health professionals, and health-related agencies to promote patient navigation services and leverage community resources to assist patients
  • Demonstrat empathy, integrity, honesty, and compassion in difficult conversations
  • Know and support National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care to advance health equity, improve quality, and reduce health disparities
  • Apply insight and understanding about emotions and human responses to emotions to create and maintain positive interpersonal interactions

Professionalism

  • Demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities and an adherence to ethical principles
  • Apply knowledge of the difference in roles between clinically licensed and nonlicensed professionals and act within professional boundaries
  • Build trust by being accessible, accurate, supportive, and acting within scope of practice
  • Use organization, time management, problem-solving, and critical thinking to assist patients efficiently and effectively
  • Demonstrate responsiveness to patient needs within scope of practice and professional boundaries
  • Know and support patient rights
  • Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to a diverse patient population, including but not limited to, diversity in gender, age, culture, race, religion, abilities, and sexual orientation
  • Demonstrate a commitment to ethical principles pertaining to confidentiality, informed consent, business practices, and compliance with relevant laws, policies, and regulations (eg, HIPAA, agency abuse reporting rules, Duty to Warn, safety contracting)
  • Perform administrative duties accurately and efficiently

Systems-Based Practice

  • Demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of healthcare, as well as the ability to call effectively on other resources in the system to provide optimal healthcare
  • Support a smooth transition of patients across screening, diagnosis, active treatment, survivorship, and/or end-of-life care, working with the patient's clinical care team
  • Advocate for quality patient care and optimal patient care systems
  • Organize and prioritize resources to optimize access to care across the cancer continuum for the most vulnerable patients

Interprofessional Collaboration

  • Demonstrate ability to engage in an interprofessional team in a manner that optimizes safe and effective patient- and population-centered care
  • Work with other health professionals to establish and maintain a climate of mutual respect, dignity, diversity, ethical integrity, and trust
  • Use knowledge of one's role and the roles of other health professionals to appropriately assess and address the needs of patients and populations served to optimize health and wellness
  • Participate in interprofessional teams to provide patient- and population-centered care that is safe, timely, efficient, effective, and equitable

Personal and Professional Development

  • Demonstrate qualities required to sustain lifelong personal and professional growth
  • Set learning and improvement goals. Identify and perform learning activities that address one's gaps in knowledge, skills, attitudes, and abilities
  • Demonstrate healthy coping mechanisms to respond to stress; employ self-care strategies
  • Manage possible and actual conflicts between personal and professional responsibilities
  • Recognize that ambiguity is part of patient care and respond by utilizing appropriate resources in dealing with uncertainty

Thank you to our Corporate Sponsors and Alliance Partners!

  • National Alliance Partner

    National Alliance Partner

  • National Alliance Partner

    National Alliance Partner

  • National Healthcare SystemAlliance Partner

    National Healthcare System
    Alliance Partner

  • National Healthcare SystemAlliance Partner

    National Healthcare System
    Alliance Partner

  • Silver Corporate Sponsor

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    Silver Corporate Sponsor

  • Cornerstone Corporate Sponsor

    Cornerstone Corporate Sponsor

  • Industry Relations Council Alliance Sponsor

    Industry Relations
    Council Alliance Sponsor

  • Industry Relations Council Member

    Industry Relations
    Council Member

  • Industry Relations Council Member

    Industry Relations
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  • Industry Relations Council Member

    Industry Relations
    Council Member