FAQ

How do I renew my membership?

Expired members can renew their membership by logging into their account, clicking on the "Renew Now" button in the upper right hand corner of the site, then filling out the membership form.

What is the difference between a nurse navigator and a patient navigator?
  • Nurse Navigator - A clinically trained individual responsible for the identification and removal of barriers to timely and appropriate cancer treatment. They guide the patient through the cancer care continuum from diagnosis through survivorship. More specifically, the nurse navigator acts as a central point of contact for a patient and coordinates all components involved in cancer care including surgical, medical, and radiation oncologists; social workers; patient education; community support; financial and insurance assistance; etc. This person has the clinical background and is a critical member of the multidisciplinary cancer team.
  • Patient Navigator -An individual who does not have or use clinical training to provide individualized assistance to patients and families affected by cancer to improve access to health care services. A patient navigator may work within the health care system at point of screening, diagnosis, treatment or survivorship or across the cancer care spectrum or outside the health care system at a community based organization or as a freelance patient navigator. The patient navigator, unlike a "lay" navigator is a paid professional and serves as a broker between the patient and the health care system. The patient navigator is a primary point of contact for the patient and works with other members of the care team to coordinate care for the patient. This critical person on the multidisciplinary team provides important perspective on logistical, structural and social needs of the patient as well as cultural considerations, patient values and care preferences.  In general, a patient navigator provides assistance with identifying challenges to cancer care, identifying potential solutions with patients and families, identifying financial assistance to address patient needs, helping patients identify priority questions about their care, helping patients use time effectively with clinical providers and working with social work and nurse navigator colleagues to provide psychosocial and community support. A social worker or nurse may perform the role of a patient navigator, but in this instance they should discuss their scope of practice with their supervisor to ensure they perform duties within their hired role as opposed to within their clinical training.
Is Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) membership only for Nurse Navigators?

No, AONN+ membership is open to all those who are involved in patient navigation and survivorship, including nurses, social workers, lay navigators, case managers, administrators, physicians, researchers, and others.

Why are there so many organizations focusing on navigation, and how is the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) different?

As with many things that are new and exciting, navigation is an area where many organizations have an interest in engaging and guiding the future of the profession and the role of the navigator. Organizations with a navigation focus take many forms and are approaching this profession from multiple points of view. Additionally, they have different goals and resources for supporting this community. Some examples of other organizations with an interest in the navigation profession include the following:

  • American Cancer Society (ACS)
  • American College of Oncology Administrators (ACOA),
  • American College of Surgeons (ACoS)
  • Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC)
  • Association of Oncology Social Workers (AOSW)
  • LIVESTRONG
  • National Coalition of Oncology Nurse Navigators (NCONN)
  • National Consortium of Breast Centers (NCBC)
  • NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP)
  • Oncology Nursing Society (ONS)

The resources provided by these organizations vary greatly and can be very valuable depending on your needs. The ways in which AONN+ differs can be summarized in three key points.

  1. AONN+ was founded and is led by a group of experts in this relatively new profession. Their goal and the organizations is first and foremost to strive to support the navigator community to improve patient care.
  2. AONN+ is dedicated to evidence-based practice and guidelines for all navigators, whether they be nurses, social workers, or lay professionals. To this end, AONN+ is committed to furthering the profession through collaborative research and produces the only peer-reviewed journal on navigation and survivorship, the Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship®.
  3. AONN+ has established a foundation for the purpose of accrediting continuing education activities for the navigator community. This is unlike any other organization listed, since the academy's sole focus is the navigator community, including nurses, social workers, lay professionals, administrators, and others.