Oncology Nurse Navigation: Results of the 2016 role delineation study

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In 2011, an oncology nurse navigator (ONN) role delineation survey (RDS) was conducted by the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) when the role was relatively new to oncology. Results did not demonstrate a unique skill set for the ONN; however, since then, the role has expanded.


ONS and the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation partnered in 2016 to complete an RDS of ONNs to redefine the role and determine the need for an ONN certification examination.


A structured RDS was conducted using a formal consensus-building process. A survey was developed and released to examine the specific tasks, knowledge, and skills for the ONN as well as to determine which role possesses more responsibility for the tasks: the ONN or the clinical or staff nurse.


The ONN role is evolving, and more was learned about its key tasks, including differences in the responsibilities of the ONN and the clinical or staff nurse. However, the RDS did not find an adequate difference in the knowledge required by the ONN and the clinical or staff nurse to support the need for a separate ONN certification.

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