An Expanded Resource For Navigating Cancer Care

April 2011 Vol 2, No 2
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG
Editor-in-Chief, JONS; Co-Founder, AONN+; University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer, Professor of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Co-Developer, Work Stride-Managing Cancer at Work, Johns Hopkins Healthcare Solutions

I am thrilled to serve as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship. I am confident that this peer-reviewed journal will provide a great deal of valuable content to benefit your patients.

We will present opportunities to learn new models of patient navigation, patient education, psychosocial support, community outreach, and survivorship care. Evidence-based research studies will focus on your areas of expertise—navigation and survivorship.

We are striving to provide information that covers the full spectrum of navigator functions and possibilities. These include reaching patients in rural, suburban, and urban areas; describing navigation processes associated with specific tumor types (breast, lung, prostate, etc); successfully reaching underserved populations; transitioning patients from acute treatment to short-term follow-up; creating survivorship transitional programs for long-term follow-up; and the list of topics goes on and on.

The many aspects to what we do provide fertile ground for educating one another. And our hope is that we provide a forum for nurses to illustrate their success with steps that will make it as easy as possible for you to replicate their results within your cancer program. Learning from others who are working with similar oncology patient populations and needing to address the same patient issues enables us to build a network of professional support as well as to reduce the risk of reinventing the wheel.

As a nurse who has worked in oncology for quite some time, I can truly appreciate the strides that have been made in cancer care. In addition, as an 18-year cancer survivor who has traveled the cancer journey several times, I have a new perspective on oncology nursing and the need to be a strong patient advocate, always.

We have a long way to go before our work is through. Growth of the population and better awareness and screening increase cancer incidence. Additionally, patients are dealing with a fragmented healthcare system that can place them at risk for not receiving the right care, or all the care they need to become a survivor. Combine these issues with the realization that we are embarking on a shortage of oncology specialists to take care of newly diagnosed patients, and you can clearly see the significant need for navigation programs and survivorship care.

Your role for ensuring that patients destined to get cancer get diagnosed early, receive the appropriate treatment they need and in a timely manner, as well as ensure their longterm side effects of treatment are addressed is pivotal to the success of future cancer care for patients around the world. It is also important that leadership at your institution understand the value of your work as they begin to align their programs and services to address the needs of healthcare reform in the near future.

We hope that as a reader you will join our forum and consider submitting your work for publication too.

Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS

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