Meet Your Oncology Nurse or Nurse Navigator

An oncology nurse navigator and her patient share the inspiring story of their unique bond.

Kathleen Engel
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An oncology nurse is an RN who provides care, support and education during cancer treatment. A nurse navigator is an RN who educates you and provides supportive resources you and your family may need during treatment. Read about the relationship between one oncology nurse navigator and her patient.

Oncology nurse navigator: Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center, Baltimore

"Judy sought my guidance on the decision-making process for selecting a treatment plan, based on the options presented to her by her medical oncologist. It was important for me to be her patient advocate. Every person with cancer needs one—although no two patients are alike. Some are fearful and require a great deal of psychosocial support, while others have issues such as financial challenges, transportation problems, incorrect ideas about treatment and lack of family support. The nurse navigator works with the patient to address all these issues so he or she gets the treatment they need. For Judy, it was important to provide a medical sounding board."

Patient: Judy Ochs
Diagnosis: Stage IV breast cancer
Residence: Lancaster, PA

"I'd been treated for early-stage breast cancer in 1992, so I wasn't exactly in 'cancer kindergarten.' But when the cancer spread to my bone in 2009 and I was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer, I faced new treatment decisions—and fears. I have been very fortunate to have Lillie as my nurse navigator. She addresses that emotional part of you that is whirling. With her help, I listen better, understand more and make my informed choice."

October 2012