Beyond Oncology: Navigation Services in Chronic Diseases and Complex Care

July 2021 Vol 12, No 7
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

Dear Navigators, Social Workers, Administrators, and Clinical Staff,

Over the past year, I have connected with many nurse navigators, mostly through my LinkedIn page, who specialize in chronic illnesses or complex care, such as heart disease, COPD, diabetes, or high-risk pregnancies. Also during this time, and as you may remember, AONN+ conducted a poll of its membership to assess how prevalent navigation services are in healthcare outside of oncology. The response was clear; there are nurses providing navigation services in a host of other areas—not just oncology. This realization prompted the formation of a committee to conduct a literature scoping review to investigate and analyze articles related to navigators working in various disease states.

I am proud to present the results of that scoping review in this issue of JONS. Based on our findings, we conclude that nurse navigators working in chronic diseases and complex care would benefit from having a dedicated professional organization for networking, education, performance improvement, research, metrics, advocacy, and career development.

We have established a goal to develop a new and separate organization called the Association of Chronic Disease & Complex Care Nurse Navigators. Although this will be a sister organization to AONN+, it will be a separate entity.

What does this mean for you as a member of AONN+? You may find that your expertise in oncology navigation translates to other disease states, and vice versa. You may also find that you share patients with chronic disease/complex care navigators. For example, people followed by a navigator for a chronic illness may receive a cancer diagnosis. Or a person undergoing treatment for cancer may develop a chronic illness—such as cardiac toxicity derived from receiving a biologic targeted therapy for cancer.

In the following pages, we will reveal what we have learned thus far. We will keep you apprised of the development of our sister organization. We are confident that our experience and success with AONN+ will serve as an excellent template!


Lillie Digital Signature

Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG
Editor-in-Chief, JONS

University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer; Professor of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Co-Developer of Work Stride: Managing Cancer at Work, Johns Hopkins Healthcare Solutions; Co-Founder of AONN+.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Related Articles
National Nurses Month: Celebrating the Impact of Nurses
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG
May 2023 Vol 14, No 5
All day, every day, nurses make all the difference in delivering high-quality care to those who need it the most. On behalf of all of us at AONN+, I want to recognize the nurses in our community for their invaluable contributions to healthcare.
Will Your Team Receive an Exceptional Research in Navigation Award?
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG
April 2023 Vol 14, No 4
The abstract submission portal is open, and our expert peer-reviewers are standing by, awaiting your evidence-based navigation research studies, quality improvement projects, and best practices to consider for inclusion at the AONN+ Annual Conference.
A Community of Navigators, 2.1K Strong!
March 2023 Vol 14, No 3
I would like to extend a personal invitation to each of you to join our private AONN+ Facebook group.
Last modified: November 15, 2022

Subscribe Today!

To sign up for our print publication or e-newsletter, please enter your contact information below.

I'd like to receive:

  • First Name *
    Last Name *
    Profession or Role
    Primary Specialty or Disease State