Enhancing Navigation Orientation

November 2019 Vol 10, No 11
Elissa Redding, RN-BC, BSN

Background: As navigation programs grow, orientation programs must support different learning styles of new navigators. Establishing how new nurse navigators best learn will make their orientation experience more beneficial and make them more successful as they grow in their navigation role. Over the past year, in the Denver Sarah Cannon Navigation market, a navigation orientation subgroup was created of local navigators to assess the learning needs of new navigators and to develop resources to support them in their navigation orientation and as they moved forward in their new role.

Objective: To enhance the new nurse navigator orientation experience by assessing their learning styles and individualizing their orientation plan.

Methods: Three learning styles assessment tools and 6 studies related to learning preferences and styles were evaluated, and 1 assessment tool was selected to assess the navigator’s preferred method of learning. The assessment tool will be used to create a customized orientation based on the navigator’s style of learning.

Results: A learning styles assessment tool was selected and used to assist in developing and customizing a navigation orientation for each new navigator during their onboarding process. The objective of the assessment tool is to provide better support to the navigator and individualize their orientation plan primarily based around their learning style. The assessment gave the new navigators the opportunity to evaluate themselves and identify their learning style. After taking the assessment, each navigator was given feedback and suggestions based on their perceived learning style to assist them as they oriented in their new role. The results of the assessment were then given to the navigator educator and the preceptor to build into each navigator’s orientation plan. Their orientation plan will be assessed as they move forward to see if these tools and customized learning did provide an enhanced orientation experience.

Discussion/Conclusion: Current implementation status is in the preliminary stage, which includes defining appropriate learning styles based on assessment of each navigator and customizing a navigation orientation to fit the individual’s learning style. We have discussed whether it would be beneficial to have preceptors take the assessment to establish their learning style. The preceptors and the orientee with the same learning styles would then be paired to implement the assessed learning style to enhance the navigator’s orientation. During this study, documentation strategies, developing adjustment strategies, and how to measure impact will be evaluated and developed. This process could also be used to continue to assist seasoned navigators in their continued growth.

Example of Assessment:

Tactile/Kinesthetic Learner

Tactile/Kinesthetic learners learn best when they can use their sense of touch and can move about. If you are a tactile/kinesthetic learner, the suggestions that follow can help you to succeed in school to the best of your ability.

  • Be physically active while you study. Rather than just sit at your desk, occasionally walk back and forth with your textbook or notes as you read the information out loud.
  • To decrease your fidgeting as you study, listen to music, preferably baroque music. However, discontinue this if you find the music to be distracting.
  • Make extensive use of a computer and the Internet. Actively touching the keyboard will keep your mind active.
  • Take extensive written notes in class. Edit and type them later.
  • Study in short blocks of time with frequent but short breaks.
  • Do something physical as you study, such as tapping a pencil or squeezing a stress ball.
  • Use your finger as a guide while reading.
  • Act out things you have to learn whenever possible.
  • Construct models of things you have to learn whenever possible.
  • If you find it difficult to sit at a desk when studying, trying lying on your stomach or back.
  • When trying to remember information, close your eyes and "write" the information in the air. Picture the information in your mind as you do so.
  • Use concrete objects to help you understand math concepts.
  • When trying to learn the spelling of a difficult word, arrange letter blocks to spell the word.

Try these suggestions and learn which ones work best for you.

Have navigators take the assessment tool and have preceptors take the assessment tool. Pair each with the same learning styles.


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  • Berings MG, Poell RF, Simons PR, van Veldhoven MJ. The development and validation of the on-the-job learning styles questionnaire for the nursing profession. J Adv Nurs. 2007;58:480-492.
  • Foley V, Myrick F, Yonge O. Generational clashpoints in nursing preceptorship. J Nurs Educ. 2012;51:556-562.
  • How-To-Study.com. www.how-to-study.com/learning-style-assessment.
  • LSU Health New Orleans. What is your Learning Style? https://nursing.lsuhsc.edu/AcademicSuccessProgram/LearningStyles.aspx.
  • Mainemelis C, Boyatzis RE, Kolb DA. Learning Styles and Adaptive Flexibility: Testing Experiential Learning Theory. Management Learning. 2002:33(1):5-33.
  • Nursing Times. Quiz yourself…What’s your learning style? How do you learn? Do you use your ears or your common sense? Find out… www.nursingtimes.net/students/quiz-yourself-whats-your-learning-style/5042425.article.
  • Rassin M, Kurzweil Y, Maoz Y. Identification of the learning styles and “on-the-job” learning methods implemented by nurses for promoting their professional knowledge and skill. Int J Nurs Educ Scholarsh. 2015;12(1):1-7.
  • The VARK Questionnaire. http://vark-learn.com/the-vark-questionnaire/?p=questionnaire.
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Last modified: August 10, 2023

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