Starting a Local Navigator Network (LNN)
The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) is focused on developing a local and regional network of navigators to facilitate communication and education among peers and to improve patient outcomes and survivorship. To that end, AONN+ has made a concerted effort to develop local networks within the United States over the past several years.
Starting a Local Navigator Network is as easy as A-B-C!
Assemble regularly with other navigators in your vicinity
- The navigator network leader (a member of AONN+) should have experience with team building and a personal commitment to promoting education and career development of oncology navigators in his/her region. AONN+ can assist with a list of members in the area. Reach out to other navigators (patients, nurses, social workers, etc) outside of your healthcare system and communicate the meeting details.
- Set the meeting frequency, but AONN+ asks that you hold a minimum of 4 meetings of the membership each year.
Build your network’s theme, mission, and vision (objectives)
- The mission and vision need to be reflective of AONN+’s mission and vision.
- Generate a theme for your network by creating a tagline so that you have your own ownership and identity. It may be the location of the state area, a major city, or a system name, if covering several healthcare facilities.
- Identify best practices and areas of need (resource needs, educational needs, and possible solutions) within your region. A survey can be conducted among LNN members to recognize common best practices or gaps in care. Use this information to plan future meetings.
- Decide which leadership structure will best fit your area. The leader/coleader information will be displayed on the AONN+ website with contact information. We suggest your LNN identify a scribe or secretary who can record LNN activities. Other LNNs have membership chairs who develop the directory as well as help people join at the meeting. Another idea is to have a program chair.
- Send at least 1 or 2 members to the AONN+ Annual Conference to represent your local network. This is a meeting opportunity for your LNN attendees, and AONN+ will attempt to acquire space for you to gather. You may want to network with other LNNs.
Communicate with AONN+ and your members
- AONN+ requires an annual report of activities by January 31 each year, and this form will be shared with the current LNN leader. Take minutes at your meetings for the annual report, and you may choose to distribute the minutes to members immediately after gathering.
- Establish and maintain an open correspondence system with all LNN members, and address queries in a timely manner. You are encouraged to develop a directory of members to share among your group for networking, projects, and publication, among members.
- All networks will be listed on the AONN+ website for members only.
- Communicate in different outlets, including local meetings; chat online through technology such as Facebook, LinkedIn, etc; and meet at the annual conference.