Choosing A Course

The Patient Navigator Training Collaborative suggests you begin with the Level 1 course. Level 2 courses build on the basic knowledge and skills gained in Level 1. However, if you have more experience, you may want jump right into Level 2.

Level 1 Patient Navigator

A Level 1 patient navigator may be a lay healthcare worker or have some college. Level 1 navigators may work in communities or in healthcare settings. They often work with patients during health screening and through the diagnostic process and may link patients to screening tests or provide health information. Level 1 navigators also work with patients to identify and reduce barriers that keep patients from getting healthcare. They may also link patients to health information, healthcare providers, public health insurance, or transportation.

Level 1 training focus:

  • Patient navigation history and overview
  • Patient communication strategies
  • Patient resources
  • Professional boundaries
  • Ethical decision making
  • Health literacy
  • Assessing patient readiness for change
  • Motivational interviewing


Level 2 Patient Navigator

A Level 2 patient navigator may be a nurse or social worker with a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Some Level 2 navigators have less education but a lot of experience as patient navigators. These navigators work with patients in healthcare or community settings after patients receive a diagnosis, through treatment or disease management, into health maintenance, and sometimes at the end of life. Level 2 navigators may focus on behavior change, adjustment to life with a chronic illness, or help clients maintain a healthy lifestyle. They address barriers to healthcare, coordinate care, tailor health information to patient needs, and motivate clients to make healthy choices.

Level 2 training focus:

  • Advanced care coordination
  • Advanced professional conduct
  • Supporting changes in health behavior
  • Emotional aspects of disease
  • Advanced motivational interviewing