A Descriptive Analysis of Gender Differences in Patients Working With a Lung Cancer Nurse Navigator

Student Author(s)

Amanda Russ

Faculty Mentor(s)

Erin VanDyke, BSN, RN, OCN (Spectrum Health); Susan Dunn, PhD, RN

Document Type


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Nurse navigation is the teaming of an oncology-prepared nurse and a patient with cancer in order for the nurse to ease the patient’s transition through the health care system, provide support, and remove barriers to treatment. Previous research demonstrates that navigation improves patient satisfaction with care and timeliness to treatment. The purpose of this project was to describe a sample of patients working with a lung cancer nurse navigator. The framework used for this project was Dorothea Orem’s Self-Care Theory because it emphasizes the role of the nurse as helping the patient care for themself and providing care when the patient is unable, much like the role of the nurse navigator. A student nurse collected data through retrospective patient chart review. The sample consisted of 150 lung cancer patients, inpatient and outpatient, actively working with a nurse navigator. The study took place at a large, metropolitan cancer center in the Midwest United States. Data analysis included descriptive statistics and correlations, and was analyzed using SPSS software. The results showed that there were not significant differences between males and females regarding the time to treatment, age, or stage at diagnosis. The limitations are some missing data, data only being collected from a single cancer center, and convenience sampling. The implications of this study are that it provides an increased knowledge of gender similarities related to lung cancer and the prevalence rate among women. Further research needs to be done regarding timeliness and the benefit of a nurse navigator.

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