The process of oncology nurse practitioner patient navigation: A grounded theory approach
Nurse practitioner (NP) navigation, in general, has been shown to achieve cost effective quality care, while saving millions of dollars (ANA, 2012). Research, though scant, has shown that oncology nurse practitioner navigators improve clinical outcomes (Johnson, 2015). For purposes of this dissertation, oncology NP navigators are nurse practitioners with a certification in oncology who utilize navigation processes to care for cancer patients along any aspect of the cancer care continuum. Navigation process is defined as “a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end” (Process, 2014).
To date there are no standard measures of the process of oncology patient navigation or related clinical outcomes. Development of process and outcome measures is critically important in that the development of these measures is necessary for navigator program evaluation. The purpose of the study is to answer the question: What processes do oncology NP navigators use in caring for cancer patients? Twenty oncology nurse practitioner navigators were interviewed through the use a semi-structured interview utilizing grounded theory methodology. This resulted in a well-defined set of concepts and theoretical framework for the process of ONP navigation that lays the groundwork for program evaluation and role delineation.