We’re kicking off this new miniseries with Sharon Gentry, MSN, RN, HON-ONN-CG, AOCN, CBCN, AONN+ Program Director. Recently, we sat down with Sharon to ask her a few questions about her navigation journey and the ways in which she enjoys helping AONN+ members. We invite you to read what she shared.
How did you begin your career in navigation?
I was finishing my Master of Education when my mentor, a director in an oncology program, introduced me to the concept of navigation. She presented me with the opportunity to give navigation a try for 2 years in line with a grant they had received to get the program off the ground. I received very little guidance, but it wasn’t long before I realized what needed to be done. I wanted to streamline care for patients, arm them with educational resources, and enhance their ability for shared decision-making. I still consider these my primary goals as a navigator.
Why is navigation important to you?
Navigation is a unifying point of cancer care. You step out of the silo and see the whole picture of where a patient is coming from and where they need to go. You meet them where they are and hear their story.
What is your passion in your role? What are you most passionate about helping others do?
I am most passionate about being an educational ally to oncology patients and navigators. There is no better feeling than empowering a patient with knowledge and support. It can be the difference between completing screening/treatment or not. And being able to hear the voice of fellow navigators and creating resources for their success!
Why would somebody contact you? What do you think your expertise is?
My expertise is in connecting members with those they might not have had the opportunity to meet with otherwise. Contact me when you need guidance facing an unfamiliar challenge. I’ll do my best to share your voice and connect you with someone who has walked a similar path.