Career FAQ

How do I become a patient navigator?

Check with hospitals and clinics in your area to see what education and experience they require. Some patient navigators have a background in healthcare or a human services setting, but not all patient navigator jobs require this background.

Where can I find a job as a patient navigator?

Look for patient navigator jobs in clinics, hospitals, public health organizations, the health department and agencies like the American Cancer Society or the American Diabetes Association. Be aware that patient navigator jobs may have a different title such as patient advocate, health navigator or care coordinator. Other jobs related to patient navigation are: community health worker, community outreach worker, patient advocate, or screening outreach worker.

Do I need special training to be a patient navigator?

You do not need special training to become a patient navigator. Many patient navigators have little or no college. Some patient navigators are nurses or social workers with a college degree or master’s degree. Check with hospitals and clinics in your area to see what education and experience they require.

Can I become a “Certified Patient Navigator”?

Currently, there is no “certification” for patient navigators. Patient navigation groups are working toward developing certification criteria; however, there is no national certification program at this time. This training program, like others, offers a certificate of completion once you finish a course. The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment has a workforce development initiative to create a credentialing exam for health navigators. Read more about this effort here.

Will training help me get a job as a patient navigator?

Patient navigator training may help, but training will not necessarily qualify you to work as a patient navigator. Check with hospitals and clinics in your area to see what education and experience they require.

Who are courses for?

Courses are for patient navigators, social workers, and other community health care workers. Two levels of training are offered for different levels of experience. See our Training Model to learn more.

Do I need to take the Level 1 course before I can take Level 2 courses?

Level 1 is recommended; however you do not have to take Level 1 before Level 2. Level 1 courses are for newer patient navigators and Level 2 is for more experienced navigators. However, even more experienced navigators can benefit from Level 1 training. See our training model and each course’s learning objectives to determine if a course is right for you.

How often are courses offered?

Courses are offered at different times throughout the year. Self-paced eLearning courses are always available. Courses are announced through our Navigator Announcements listserv.

How much do courses cost?

The cost of courses varies. There is no cost for self-paced eLearning courses. Level 1 courses are $400 and Level 2 courses are $100. This covers ALL days of face-to-face, online, or instructor-led online course. Special topic courses vary in price. Grant funding allows us to offer courses free to patient navigators in Colorado. Individuals attending face-to-face training are responsible for travel arrangements and hotel accommodations.

Can I take courses online?

Several of our courses have some online activities and some Level 2 courses are offered fully online. All of our self-paced eLearning courses are online.

What is my commitment if I register for a course?

By registering for training, you commit to attend the full course session. This applies to face-to-face or online courses. You also commit to completing all course pre-work prior to attending the course. Pre-work may be short readings, online videos or activities. Training is highly interactive and activities are designed around the number of students enrolled and diverse student experiences. Coming late, leaving early or not completing course pre-work affects the learning experience for the whole group.

For online instructor-led courses, you commit to 4-8 hours of work per week. The amount of work each week is similar to a college-level online course. Course activities include readings, tutorials, quizzes, and online discussions. Because you will be participating in online discussions with other students in the course, the success of the course depends on your participation.

Will I receive a certificate of completion?

A certificate of completion is available for all in-person courses. To receive a certificate of completion you must actively attend and participate fully in all course activities.

Are all face-to-face courses held in Denver?

Not all courses are held in Denver. We offer courses throughout Colorado and sometimes travel to sites outside Colorado. If your organization has specific training needs, we may be available to train navigators at your site. Contact us for more information.

Can you come to my organization to conduct training?

Yes, if your organization or program has specific consultation or training needs, our experts may be available to train navigators at your site. Contact us for more information.

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