• ONN-CG and OPN-CG Authoritative References List Updated July 27, 2020.

    Attention all candidates preparing for the AONN+ FFL, Inc, ONN-CG and OPN-CG certification exams. Please note the authoritative references list for both exams has been updated for your consideration.

    The Authoritative References List provides a concise yet detailed guide to informative oncology navigation peer-reviewed journals and textbooks. It serves as a valuable tool for all oncology navigators, especially those preparing for certification. This list is intended for use as a study aid only. The AONN+ FFL, Inc, does not intend the list to imply endorsement of these specific references.

    In addition, for your exam preparation, please reference the ONN-CG and OPN-CG exam blueprint and accompanying candidate handbook to identify subject domains by certification exam.


    • Must have an active RN license in good standing
    • Provide a copy of your curriculum vitae demonstrating current navigation employment and at least 3 years of direct navigation experience at time of application
    • Provide documentation verifying you have earned at least 15 CEs in the past 12 consecutive months. No more than 5 CEs for Tumor Board attendance will be accepted.
    • Continuing education hours must consist of education within the defined knowledge domains: Patient Advocacy and Patient Empowerment, Quality and Performance Improvement, Coordination of Care and Care Transitions, Psychosocial Distress Screening, Survivorship, Community Outreach and Prevention, Professional Roles and Responsibilities, Organizational Management, or End of Life
    • Provide your current job description
    • Provide a reference letter signed by your employer verifying your role

    Willis A, Reed E, Pratt-Chapman M, et al. Development of a framework for patient navigation: delineating roles across navigator types. Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship. 2013;4(6):20-26.

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    Community Outreach/Prevention

    • Finding community resources
    • Community needs assessment
    • Identification of barriers to care
    • Interventions to remove barriers to care
    • Community education prevention and screening
    • Population health
    • Risk assessment
    • Cultural competency
    • Behavior modification
    • Genetics

    Coordination of Care/Care Transitions

    • Chronic Care Model (CCM)
    • Identification/intervention of clinical and service barriers to care
    • Patient care process/cancer care continuum (prevention/screening/risk assessment, diagnosis, clinical trials, treatment, survivorship/end-of-life care)
    • Patient/family center education (screening, diagnosis, treatment, side effects and management, survivorship/end of life)
    • Identify models of navigation
    • Cultural competency
    • Multidisciplinary approach to care
    • Tumor board
    • National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines (national guidelines)

    Patient Advocacy/Patient Empowerment

    • Patient problem-solving
    • Engagement in decision-making tools
    • Relationship building/trust
    • Assisting the patient with the care team/communication
    • Counseling: conduit between patient and providers
    • Patient/family center education (assess educational needs)
    • Provide culturally sensitive care and education

    Psychosocial Support Services/Assessment

    • Distress screening
    • Strategies for coping: disease, treatment, distress/anxiety
    • Referrals to psychosocial support/resources

    Survivorship/End of Life

    • Goal-setting―life goals
    • Survivorship education: long-term/late effects
    • Care planning
    • Palliative care
    • Hospice

    Professional Roles and Responsibilities

    • Critical thinking
    • Problem solving
    • Ethics
    • Team building
    • Leadership
    • History/evolution of navigation
    • Definition of navigation and types of navigators (community, lay, clinical navigator―RN/SW)
    • Tracking workload
    • Documentation

    Operations Management

    • Healthcare reform
    • Utilization of resources
    • Workforce shortages
    • Organizational structure, mission, and vision
    • Organizational development
    • Healthcare economics

    Quality and Performance Improvement

    • Value/role of nursing research to validate practice and build evidence-based practices
    • Research
    • Quality metrics (selection of metrics; develop, measure, and create dashboards)
    • Performance improvement (methodologies―Plan-Do-Study-Act [PDSA], SMART goals)
    • Role in identifying quality needs, areas of quality improvement
    • Role in improving the process
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    1. Community Outreach/Prevention – 9%

    1. Identify community resources—local, regional, and national
    2. Review results of community needs assessment, carried out alongside senior leadership of program or cancer committee
    3. Identify barriers to care
    4. Provide interventions to remove barriers to care
    5. Assess population health (common diseases and/or risk behaviors)
    6. Conduct risk assessment (smoking, diet, occupation, etc.)
    7. Perform community education on prevention and screening (health screening)
    8. Draw on cultural competency for community outreach/prevention
    9. Educate community in behavior modification
    10. Assess patients’ genetic risk and family history

    2. Coordination of Care/Care Transitions – 27%

    1. Utilize Chronic Care Model (CCM) principles within a navigation practice
    2. Implement interventions to remove clinical and service barriers to care
    3. Implement into practice the Patient Care Process/Cancer Care Continuum (prevention/screening/risk assessment, diagnosis, clinical trials, treatment, survivorship/end of life care)
    4. Provide individualized patient/family center education (screening, diagnosis, treatment, side effect and management, survivorship/end of life)
    5. Identify models of navigation
    6. Draw on cultural competency for coordination of care/care transitions
    7. Take a multidisciplinary approach to care
    8. Use National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and/or other national guidelines

    3. Patient Advocacy/Patient Empowerment – 21%

    1. Facilitate patient problem solving using shared decision-making principles and tools
    2. Engage in relationship building/trust
    3. Assist the patient with care team/communication
    4. Serve as a conduit between patient and providers
    5. Assess educational needs (Patient/family center education)
    6. Provide culturally sensitive care and education

    4. Psychosocial Support Services/Assessment – 10%

    1. Conduct distress screening
    2. Promote strategies for coping: disease, treatment, distress/anxiety
    3. Make referrals to psychosocial support/resources

    5. Survivorship/End of Life – 13%

    1. Train in goal setting/life goals
    2. Provide survivorship education: long term/late effects
    3. Engage in survivorship or end of life care planning
    4. Provide access to palliative care
    5. Refer patient to hospice care

    6. Professional Roles and Responsibilities – 8%

    1. Engage in team building
    2. Use performance standards
    3. Provide leadership
    4. Generate documentation

    7. Operations Management – 5%

    1. Understand organizational structure, mission, and vision
    2. Draw on knowledge of healthcare reform
    3. Participate in patient flow and processes of care improvement

    8. Quality and Performance Improvement – 7%

    1. Explain the value/role of nursing research to validate practice and build evidenced-based practices
    2. Engage in research locally and nationally
    3. Implement quality metrics
    4. Report evaluation of outcomes against benchmarks
    5. Engage in performance improvement
    6. Identify quality needs, areas of quality improvement
  • These reference materials support the 8 ONN-CG domains.

    Download Preparation Guide

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    Foundational Resources

    • AONN+ Knowledge Domain Modules. https://www.aonnonline.org/education/modules
    • Christensen DM, Cantril C, eds. Oncology Nurse Navigation: Delivering Patient-Centered Care Across the Continuum. Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society; 2020.
    • Brant JM. Core Curriculum for Oncology Nursing. Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society; 2020.
    • Desimini EM, Kennedy JA, Helsley MF, et al. Making the case for nurse navigators―benefits, outcomes, and return on investment. Oncol Issues. 2011:26-33. https://www.jons-online.com/issues/2012/october-2012-vol-3-no-5/1197-jons-607
    • Oncology Patient Navigator Training: The Fundamentals. George Washington University Cancer Institute. 2015.
    • Optimal Resources for Cancer Care: 2020 Standards. American College of Surgeons. Copyright © 2019 American College of Surgeons, 633 N. Saint Clair St., Chicago, IL 60611-3295.
    • Shockney LD. Navigation needs for breast health and breast cancer populations of low- and middle-income countries. Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship. 2013;4(1):21-31.
    • Shockney LD. Becoming a Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator. 1st ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers; 2011.
    • Shockney LD, Haylock PJ, Cantril C. Development of a breast navigation program. Semin Oncol Nurs. 2013;29(2):97-104.
    • Shockney LD. Team-Based Oncology Care: The Pivotal Role of Oncology Navigation. Springer International Publishing; 2018. https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319690377
    • Yarbo C, Wujcik D, Gobel B. Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. 2011:Chapters 4-10, 25-27, 30, 33, 70-75.

    Community Outreach/Prevention

    Coordination of Care/Care Transitions

    Patient Advocacy/Patient Empowerment

    Psychosocial Support Services/Assessment

    Survivorship/End of Life

    Professional Roles and Responsibilities

    Operations Management

    Quality and Performance Improvement

  • All AONN+ FFL–certified individuals must agree to comply with the Certificant Code of Professional Conduct as outlined below. The ONN-CG credential awarded through AONN+ FFL may be suspended or revoked if a certificant fails to meet the outlined Code of Conduct:

    • I will conduct my business and/or professional activities with honesty and integrity.
    • I will represent my certifications and qualifications honestly and provide only those services for which I am qualified to perform.
    • I will strive to maintain and improve my professional knowledge and competence through regular self-assessments and continuing education or training.
    • I will act in a manner free of bias and discrimination against clients or customers.
    • I will maintain the privacy of individuals and confidentiality of information obtained in the course of my duties unless disclosure is required by legal authority.
    • I will follow all certification policies, procedures, guidelines, and requirements of AONN+ FFL.