Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Janice Long


Cancer diagnoses affect millions of people in the United States each year. Today, cancer patients face many challenges when trying to navigate the complex healthcare system. Patient navigation programs were developed to address and overcome barriers patients may face as they make their way through the healthcare system. The purpose of this project was to provide an analysis and discussion of the current published literature to provide evidence for improving care coordination and patient satisfaction in the oncology clinical setting with a patient navigator program. The practice-focused question for this project asked if a patient navigator program for adult cancer patients improved patient outcomes. The systematic review, guided by Watson's theory of caring, included 11 studies published between 2010 and 2017 identified through Cochrane Library, CINAHL, ProQuest, PubMed, and Joanna Briggs Institute. Initially a total of 679 articles were identified; however the number reduced by removing duplicates and after review of titles and abstracts. The remaining articles were then evaluated by the level of evidence based on the Manly and Fineout-Overholt's guide on hierarchy of evidence. The results identified in this systematic review showed patient navigation can improve care coordination and patient satisfaction. This review offers findings on the impact of cancer care coordination and patient satisfaction, which may be used by healthcare leaders when determining how to improve cancer care and as a result may provide positive social change. If the organization implements a patient navigator program, it is expected that this change would benefit patients, families, healthcare providers and the organization.

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