Many patients when given a new medical diagnosis require a wide range of care coordination. From diagnosis throughout treatment and into survivorship, there are many moments throughout one’s care that patients and their caregivers are left to navigate the foreign world of today’s healthcare system with little to no guidance. The nurse navigator serves as the patient’s advocate to ensure timely and efficient care by identifying and eliminating barriers from diagnosis throughout the trajectory of one’s illness. The nurse navigator is a pivotal member of the multidisciplinary team that bridges the educational gaps between providers and patients and can help guide patients to make informed medical decisions throughout one’s treatment. The role has a huge impact on one’s ability to have a shared decision-making role with a true understanding and purpose behind each decision they make related to their medical care. There is a need for innovative nurse navigator programs that bridge the gaps and support care on a continuum. The nurse navigator looks to provide individualized care coordination, establish partnerships, improve overall patient outcomes, and facilitate overall healthcare system improvements. We have found the nurse navigator role to be extremely effective in over-coming system barriers and ensuring patients move seamlessly through multiple transitions of care. The nurse navigator is crucial at bridging the psychosocial needs and the medical needs of patients and helping address all aspects of care.
The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey is providing major support for this program for its inaugural two-year