An Integrative Review on the Oncology Nurse Navigator Role in the Canadian Context

Jessica Stefanie Katerenchuk, Anna Santos Salas


Canadian provincial cancer agencies have adopted a nurse-led model of patient navigation to decrease care fragmentation in the system. The scope of competencies of the oncology nurse navigator in a Canadian setting have not been clearly outlined. This integrative review aimed to outline the scope of competencies of the oncology nurse navigator role in Canada. Three interdependent role domains were identified. The first domain of “coordinator of care” highlighted the nurse navigator as a coordinator of health and practical needs along the care journey. The second framed the nurse navigator as a “change agent” through increasing patients’ health literacy, creating partnerships, and trusting relationships. Nurse navigators were also described as a “supporter of wellbeing,” or a champion of emotional, multidimensional needs, and a transformer of the context of care. All domains were central to the navigator’s success in addressing inequities in care and improving patient outcomes across care settings.

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