Finding nurse navigators capable of both creative and critical thinking are two crucial skills for this role, explains Robert Fortini, vice president and chief clinical officer of Bon Secours Health System, and can be inherent, taught. The health system expects to double its staff of 30 nurse navigators within 18 months due to their contributions and overall effectiveness.
When hiring nurse navigators, we look for unique individual skills. Anyone who has ever done case management knows what an art and science it is. It calls for creativity and critical thinking more so than any other attribute. Those are the qualities that we try to either identify initially or to nurture and develop over time. We look at a lot of different directions to find our navigators. Fortunately, as a hospital system, the hospitals themselves actually send us quite a bit of choice in terms of candidacy. Our speaking engagements even become a creative force for us in increasing our workforce.
I use the word ‘nurturing’ as a critical thinking skill. We have developed a very well-articulated orientation program that focuses on the work flows and reinforces and teaches how to use the tools to do patient assessment and engagement and identifying potential barriers to care. We educate nurse navigators on the teach-back method and other methodologies for being effective communicators with patients. And we spend quite a bit of time on the documentation tool and resources connected with that.
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