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Letter from Lillie

Dear Navigators, Social Workers, Administrators, and Clinical Staff,

Over the past two years, I have connected with many nurse navigators, mostly through my LinkedIn page, who specialize in chronic illnesses or complex care, such as heart disease, COPD, diabetes, or even high-risk pregnancies. Also during this time, AONN+ , the prior national professional organization I co—founded, conducted a poll of its membership to assess how prevalent navigation services are in healthcare outside of oncology. The response was clear; there are nurses providing navigation services in a host of other areas—not just oncology. This realization prompted the formation of a committee to conduct a literature scoping review to investigate and analyze articles related to navigators working in various disease states.

The results of that scoping review can be found HERE. Based on our findings, we concluded that nurse navigators working in chronic diseases and complex care space would benefit from having a dedicated professional organization for networking, education, performance improvement, research, metrics, advocacy, and career development.

We set out a goal to develop a new and separate organization called the Association of Chronic Disease & Complex Care Nurse Navigators. Although this will be a sister organization to AONN+, it is a separate entity.

For AONN+ members, you may find that your expertise in oncology navigation translates to other disease states, and vice versa. You may also find that you share patients with chronic disease/complex care navigators. For example, people followed by a navigator for a chronic illness may receive a cancer diagnosis. Or a person undergoing treatment for cancer may develop a chronic illness—such as cardiac toxicity derived from receiving a biologic targeted therapy for cancer.

For nurse navigators supporting patients with chronic illnesses and complex care needs, the Association of Chronic & Complex Care Nurse Navigators (ACCCNN) has become established for YOU. As we build out this new national professional organization, modeled after our successes with AONN+, please revisit this website to see our progress. We look forward to you joining as a member so that you can reap the benefits we intend to provide you based on feedback from your navigator peers.