• 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 reference 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.

    Criteria

    • Provide a copy of your curriculum vitae demonstrating 1 year or 2000 hours of direct patient navigation in practice
    • Provide your job description reflecting your roles and responsibilities
    • Provide a reference letter signed by your employer verifying navigation experience

    Core Competencies for an Oncology Patient Navigator–Certified Generalist: Patient Care

    • Facilitate patient-centered care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the treatment of cancer and the promotion of health
    • Assist patients in accessing cancer care and navigating healthcare systems. Assess barriers to care and engage patients and families in creating potential solutions to financial, practical, and social challenges
    • Identify appropriate and credible resources responsive to patient needs (practical, social, physical, emotional, spiritual), taking into consideration reading level, health literacy, culture, language, and amount of information desired. For physical concerns, emotional needs, or clinical information, refer to licensed clinicians
    • Educate patients and caregivers on the multidisciplinary nature of cancer treatment, the roles of team members, and what to expect from the healthcare system. Provide patients and caregivers evidence-based information, and refer to clinical staff to answer questions about clinical information, treatment choices, and potential outcomes
    • Empower patients to communicate their preferences and priorities for treatment to their healthcare team; facilitate shared decision-making in the patient's healthcare
    • Empower patients to participate in their wellness by providing self-management and health promotion resources and referrals
    • Follow up with patients to support adherence to an agreed-upon treatment plan through continued nonclinical barrier assessment and referrals to supportive resources in collaboration with the clinical team

    Knowledge for Practice

    • Demonstrate basic understanding of cancer, healthcare systems, and how patients access care and services across the cancer continuum to support and assist patients. NOTE: This domain refers to foundational knowledge applied across other domains
    • Demonstrate basic knowledge of medical and cancer terminology
    • Demonstrate familiarity with and know how to access and reference evidence-based information regarding cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship
    • Demonstrate basic knowledge of cancer, cancer treatment, and supportive care options, including risks and benefits of clinical trials and integrative therapies
    • Demonstrate basic knowledge of health system operations
    • Identify potential physical, psychological, social, and spiritual impacts of cancer and its treatment
    • Demonstrate general understanding of healthcare payment structure, financing, and where to refer patients for answers regarding insurance coverage and financial assistance

    Practice-Based Learning and Improvement

    • Improve patient navigation process through continual self-evaluation and quality improvement. Promote and advance the profession
    • Contribute to patient navigation program development, implementation, and evaluation
    • Use evaluation data (barriers to care, patient encounters, resource provision, population health disparities data, and quality indicators) to collaboratively improve navigation process and participate in quality improvement
    • Incorporate feedback on performance to improve daily work
    • Use information technology to maximize efficiency of patient navigator's time
    • Continually identify, analyze, and use new knowledge to mitigate barriers to care
    • Maintain comprehensive, timely, and legible records capturing ongoing patient barriers, patient interactions, barrier resolution, and other evaluation metrics, and report data to show value to administrators and funders
    • Promote navigation role, responsibilities, and value to patients, providers, and the larger community

    Interpersonal and Communication Skills

    • Demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families, and health professionals
    • Assess patient capacity to self-advocate; help patients optimize time with their doctors and treatment team (eg, prioritize questions, clarify information with treatment team)
    • Communicate effectively with patients, families, and the public to build trusting relationships across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds
    • Employ active listening and remain solutions-oriented in interactions with patients, families, and members of the healthcare team
    • Encourage active communication between patients/families and healthcare providers to optimize patient outcomes
    • Communicate effectively with navigator colleagues, health professionals, and health-related agencies to promote patient navigation services and leverage community resources to assist patients
    • Demonstrat empathy, integrity, honesty, and compassion in difficult conversations
    • Know and support National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care to advance health equity, improve quality, and reduce health disparities
    • Apply insight and understanding about emotions and human responses to emotions to create and maintain positive interpersonal interactions

    Professionalism

    • Demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities and an adherence to ethical principles
    • Apply knowledge of the difference in roles between clinically licensed and nonlicensed professionals and act within professional boundaries
    • Build trust by being accessible, accurate, supportive, and acting within scope of practice
    • Use organization, time management, problem-solving, and critical thinking to assist patients efficiently and effectively
    • Demonstrate responsiveness to patient needs within scope of practice and professional boundaries
    • Know and support patient rights
    • Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to a diverse patient population, including but not limited to, diversity in gender, age, culture, race, religion, abilities, and sexual orientation
    • Demonstrate a commitment to ethical principles pertaining to confidentiality, informed consent, business practices, and compliance with relevant laws, policies, and regulations (eg, HIPAA, agency abuse reporting rules, Duty to Warn, safety contracting)
    • Perform administrative duties accurately and efficiently

    Systems-Based Practice

    • Demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of healthcare, as well as the ability to call effectively on other resources in the system to provide optimal healthcare
    • Support a smooth transition of patients across screening, diagnosis, active treatment, survivorship, and/or end-of-life care, working with the patient's clinical care team
    • Advocate for quality patient care and optimal patient care systems
    • Organize and prioritize resources to optimize access to care across the cancer continuum for the most vulnerable patients

    Interprofessional Collaboration

    • Demonstrate ability to engage in an interprofessional team in a manner that optimizes safe and effective patient- and population-centered care
    • Work with other health professionals to establish and maintain a climate of mutual respect, dignity, diversity, ethical integrity, and trust
    • Use knowledge of one's role and the roles of other health professionals to appropriately assess and address the needs of patients and populations served to optimize health and wellness
    • Participate in interprofessional teams to provide patient- and population-centered care that is safe, timely, efficient, effective, and equitable

    Personal and Professional Development

    • Demonstrate qualities required to sustain lifelong personal and professional growth
    • Set learning and improvement goals. Identify and perform learning activities that address one's gaps in knowledge, skills, attitudes, and abilities
    • Demonstrate healthy coping mechanisms to respond to stress; employ self-care strategies
    • Manage possible and actual conflicts between personal and professional responsibilities
    • Recognize that ambiguity is part of patient care and respond by utilizing appropriate resources in dealing with uncertainty
  • 1. Patient Care – 20%

    1. Assist patients in accessing cancer care and navigating health care systems
      1. Assess barriers to care (financial, practical and social)
      2. Create potential solutions to barriers
    2. Identify appropriate and credible resources (practical, social, physical, emotional, spiritual).
      1. Patient-centered reading level, health literacy, culture, language and amount of information desired)
      2. For physical concerns, emotional needs or clinical information, refer to licensed clinicians
    3. Educate patients and caregivers on the multi-disciplinary nature of cancer treatment (roles and health care system)
      1. Provide evidence-based information
      2. Refer to clinical staff to answer questions about clinical information, treatment choices and potential outcomes
    4. Empower patients to communicate their preferences and priorities for treatment to their health care team
      1. Facilitate shared decision making
    5. Empower patients (self-management and health promotion resources and referrals)
    6. Support patient adherence to agreed-upon treatment plan (continued non-clinical barrier assessment, referrals to supportive resources, collaboration with the clinical team)

    2. Knowledge for Practice – 24%

    1. Basic knowledge of medical and cancer terminology
    2. Access and reference evidence-based information (cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship)
    3. Basic knowledge of cancer, cancer treatment and supportive care options (clinical trials and integrative therapies)
    4. Basic knowledge of health system operations
    5. Physical, psychological, social and spiritual impacts of cancer and its treatment
    6. General understanding of health care payment structure and financing
      1. Referral sources regarding insurance coverage and financial assistance

    3. Practice-Based Learning and Improvement – 10%

    1. Patient navigation program development, implementation and evaluating
    2. Collaboration to improve navigation process and participate in quality improvement
      1. Use barriers to care, patient encounters, resource provision, population health disparities data and quality indicators
    3. Performance feedback utilization
    4. Information technology (use and time efficiency)
    5. Continuous analysis of barriers to care
    6. Metric maintenance (records capturing ongoing patient barriers, patient interactions, barrier resolution and other evaluation data)
    7. Promote navigation role
      1. Value to patients, providers and the larger community

    4. Interpersonal and Communication Skills – 14%

    1. Assessment of patient capacity to self-advocate (prioritize questions, clarify information with treatment team)
    2. Communication skills involving patients, families and the public (range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds)
    3. Active listening (solutions-oriented)s
    4. Interactive communication (optimize patient outcomes)
    5. Team communication (leverage community resources to assist patients)
    6. Difficult conversations (empathy, integrity, honesty and compassion)
    7. Knowledge of National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care
    8. Understanding about emotions and human responses to emotions.
    9.  

    5. Professionalism – 14%

    1. Knowledge application role differences (clinically licensed and non-licensed professionals)
      1. Professional boundaries
    2. Scope of practice (accessible, accurate, supportive)
    3. Efficient and effective use of organization, time management, problem-solving and critical thinking.
    4. Responsiveness to patient needs (within scope of practice and professional boundaries).
    5. Knowledge of patient rights
    6. Sensitivity and responsiveness to a diverse patient population (gender, age, culture, race, religion, abilities and sexual orientation

    6. Systems-Based Practice – 3%

    1. Transition of patients (screening, diagnosis, active treatment, survivorship and/or end-of-life care)
      1. Work within the patient's clinical care team
    2. Patient advocate (quality patient care and optimal patient care systems)
    3. Organization and prioritization of resources

    7. Interprofessional Collaboration – 8%

    1. Positive working climate - mutual respect, dignity, diversity, ethical integrity and trust
    2. Role knowledge (personal and team)
      1. Patient and populations needs to optimize health and wellness
    3. Inter-professional team participation (safe, timely, efficient, effective and equitable)

    8. Personal and Professional Development – 7%

    1. Identify gaps in knowledge (skills, attitudes and abilities)
      1. Perform learning activities that address gaps
    2. Healthy coping mechanisms to respond to stress (self-care strategies)
    3. Personal and professional responsibilities conflict management
    4. Ambiguity recognition
      1. Response by utilizing appropriate resources in dealing with uncertainty
      2. Demonstrate a commitment to ethical principles pertaining to confidentiality, informed consent, business practices and compliance with relevant laws, policies and regulations (e.g. HIPAA, agency abuse reporting rules, Duty to Warn, safety contracting)
      3. Perform administrative duties accurately and efficiently
  • Foundational Resources

    These reference materials support the 8 OPN-CG domains.

    Blaseg KD, Daugherty P, Gamblin KA. Oncology Nurse Navigation: Delivering Patient-Centered Care Across the Continuum. Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society; 2014. ISBN‐10:1935864351.

    Shockney LD. Team-Based Oncology Care: The Pivotal Role of Oncology Navigation. . Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing AG; 2018. ISBN 978-3-319-69037-7.

    Oncology Patient Navigator Training: The Fundamentals.

    Through a series of self-paced modules, the training walks participants through:
    • An overview of patient navigation and core competencies
    • The basics of healthcare
    • The basics of patient navigation
    • Enhancing communication
    • Professionalism
    • Enhancing practice

    The Guide for Patient Navigators provides a supplement to the Oncology Patient Navigator Training as you move through the course.

    Patient Navigation in Cancer Care 2.0: Guiding patients to quality outcomes. Navigating the Cancer Continuum in the Context of Value-Based Care.

    Freeman HP, Rodriguez RL. History and principles of patient navigation. Cancer. 2011;117(15 Suppl):3539‐3542. doi: 10.1002/cncr.26262.

    Pratt-Chapman M, Willis A, Masselink L. Core competencies for oncology patient navigators. Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship. April 2015.

    Braun KL., Kagawa-Singer M, Holden AE, et al. Cancer patient navigator tasks across the cancer care continuum. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 2012;23(1):398-413. https://doi.org/10.1353/hpu.2012.0030

    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.

    Wells KJ, Battaglia TA, Dudley DJ, et al. Patient navigation: state of the art or is it science? Cancer. 2008;113(8):1999‐2010. doi: 10.1002/cncr.23815.

    Patient Navigation Training Collaborative. Introduction to the Healthcare System. https://patientnavigatortraining.org/elearning/courses/introduction-to-the-healthcare-system/

    Patient Care

    Health Affairs. Achieving Equity in Health. 2011. www.healthaffairs.org/healthpolicybriefs/brief.php?brief_id=53

    National Cancer Institute. Cancer Health Disparities Definitions. 2015. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/disparities

    Pratt‐Chapman ML, Kapp H, Willis A, Bires J. Catalyzing patient‐centered care: starting where you are and sharing what you know. Oncol Issues. 2014;30‐39.

    Paskett ED, Harrop PH, Wells KJ. Patient navigation: an update on the state of the science. CA Cancer J Clin. 2011;61(4):237‐249. doi: 10.3322/caac.20111.

    Knowledge for Practice

    National Cancer Institute. Dictionary of Cancer Terms. www.cancer.gov/dictionary

    National Cancer Institute’s What Is Cancer? www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/what-is-cancer

    National Cancer Institute. Cancer Staging. 2015. www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/detection/staging

    National Cancer Institute Screening Tests. 2019. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/screening/screening-tests

    Medical Terminology. ThePenguinProf. 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fiEszFPRE8&feature=youtu.be

    American Cancer Society. Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures 2019-2020.

    National Cancer Institute. Cancer Treatment. www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment

    American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2020.

    National Cancer Institute. Clinical Trials. www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials

    National Cancer Institute. Side Effects of Cancer Treatment. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/side-effects

    Mayo Clinic. Cancer Survivors: Late Effects of Cancer Treatment. 2014. www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/in-depth/cancer-survivor/art-20045524

    Cancer.Net. Physical, Emotional, and Social Effects of Cancer. https://www.cancer.net/coping-with-cancer/physical-emotional-and-social-effects-cancer

    National Cancer Institute. Coping with Cancer. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping

    American Cancer Society. Understanding Health Insurance. https://www.cancer.org/treatment/finding-and-paying-for-treatment/understanding-health-insurance.html

    Practice-Based Learning and Improvement

    Reference the Foundational Resources that support all the OPN-CG domains.

    Interpersonal and Communication Skills

    Balogh EP, Ganz PA, Murphy SB, et al. Patient‐centered cancer treatment planning: improving the quality of oncology care. Summary of an Institute of Medicine workshop. Oncologist. 2011;16(12):1800‐1805. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.2011‐0252.

    Patient Navigator Training Collaborative. Motivational Interviewing: A Brief Overview. https://patientnavigatortraining.org/elearning/courses/motivational-interviewing-a-brief-overview/

    Professionalism

    Clinical Trials and Patient Navigation: A Tutorial for Patient Navigators. Patient Navigator Training Collaborative. http://www.patientnavigatortraining.org/clinical_trials/

    Systems-Based Practice

    Reference the Foundational Resources that support all the OPN-CG domains.

    Interprofessional Collaboration

    Reference the Foundational Resources that support all the OPN-CG domains.

    Personal and Professional Development

    Reference the Foundational Resources that support all the OPN-CG domains.

  • Your OPN-CG℠ is valid for 3 years from the date of testing. To maintain your Oncology Patient Navigator–Certified Generalist℠ (OPN-CG℠) credential, you must document participation in 24 continuing education hours every 36 months.

    Continuing education hours must consist of education in the following knowledge domains:

    • Patient Care
    • Professionalism
    • Knowledge for Practice
    • System-Based Practice
    • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
    • Interprofessional Collaboration
    • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
    • Personal and Professional Development

    Additional requirements:

    • Must maintain direct navigation experience
    • Must pay renewal fee at time of recertification:
      • Member: $150
      • Nonmember: $300 (includes a free one-year membership)

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