Fundamentals of Patient Navigation - Level 1

Program Overview

Learn how you can enhance health care delivery and improve the continuum of care by filling gaps in the health system through patient navigation.

Whether you are already helping patients and families navigate the health care system or looking to expand your role as a health professional, this patient navigation course will equip you with knowledge and skills that are applicable, transferable, and consistent across health and social services settings.

The health care system can be fragmented, uncoordinated, and complex for patients and families. Patient Navigators guide patients through the health care system to ensure that they receive the care they need. They help patients and their families understand diagnoses, treatment options, and available resources. By assisting everyday Canadians, particularly vulnerable populations, overcome barriers to health care access and bridge gaps in transitions of care, patient navigators can effectively contribute towards an efficient, equitable, and patient-centred health care system.

This interactive course will empower you with the confidence and practical skills you need to act as an effective liaison between patients and health care professionals.

Program Summary

This course is one of the first in Canada to focus on an emerging patient navigation model that can be applied across all health and social services sectors.

  •  Learn how to help patients navigate complex health care systems
  • Be at the forefront of patient-centred care
  • Be part of the movement to apply the potential of patient navigation to improve health care systems in Canada

You will gain:

  • A clear understanding of patient navigator role and how it fits into healthcare settings across the continuum
  • An appreciation for how this role could fit into your current work setting
  • An Empowerment Actualization Model© you can apply to your everyday context to advocate for patients and help them coordinate their care
  • Practical training in skills needed to become an informed patient navigator
  • Formal knowledge about the structure of health care systems and the up-to-date information on confidentiality protocols, advanced directives and power of attorney for personal care, etc.
  • Confidence to act as an effective liaison between patients and health care professionals.
  • Insights into current and future opportunities for patient navigators

What You Will Learn

  • Understand the emerging patient navigation role and how it applies to various health care and social services settings
  • Become knowledgeable about the current health care climate and structure, including transitions of care
  • Apply the Empowerment Actualization Model© to build therapeutic relationships with clients and help them self-manage their health care
  • Understand how to communicate effective with patients and families in a way that maintains dignity, autonomy, and confidentiality
  • Learn how to engage with patients and families in meaningful and productive discussion, i.e. – Be able to identify what can be done to improve patient experience and how to reconcile differences between what patients want and what health providers believe is right for them
  • Acquire skills to assess patient needs and outcomes, and evaluate your own patient navigation practice
  • Understand confidentiality protocols, advanced directives, power of attorney for personal care, etc.

Who Should Take This Course

  • Healthcare professionals seeking a career transition into patient navigation
  • Health administration or health allied professionals interested in expanding their scope of practice to include patient navigation
  • Individuals seeking to join the healthcare field as a patient navigator
  • Current patient navigators or case managers seeking a deeper understanding of their role and responsibilities
  • Clinicians or caregivers interested in learning about patient navigation

Recommended Education:

Bachelor’s degree in health care and/or social sciences, or equivalent training and professional experience in health care field.

Not listed here and want to take the course? Contact us for more information at 416 736 2100 ext 22170 or

Program Content

With increasing health care demands and the introduction of the Patients First Act in Ontario in June 2016, patient navigation is a burgeoning model of care that is gaining prominence in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

While the patient navigation model was developed in the cancer care environment, it is clear that the model is applicable to many other types of patient experiences. For example, the transitions required when children with chronic conditions become adult patients; elderly individuals whose health deteriorates; and the management of chronic diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS) or mental health conditions.

By engaging in discussion of real-world scenarios, you will have the opportunity to exchange ideas around the patient experience, and develop the ability to better recognize patient and family needs and priorities. This two-day certificate course led by clinical experts will formalize your health care knowledge and introduce a consistent approach to patient navigation.

Course Schedule:

Day 1: 9 AM – 4 PM

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction to patient navigation
  • The patient navigator role in the context of current health care systems and complex health care needs
  • Overview of health care structure, systems, and processes
  • Needs and priorities of patients and families
  • Understanding your client demographic
  • Challenges and barriers to successful patient navigation
  • Guest presentation: Case study of patient navigation for a specific demographic

Day 2: 9 AM – 4 PM

Topics covered include:

  • Essential skills in patient navigation
  • Standard assessment and evaluation tools
  • Understanding the proper conduct and communication
  • Engage productively with patients and families using the empowerment actualization model (EAM)
  • Dealing with anger, grief, and denial
  • Ethical guidelines and confidentiality protocols



Rosemary Kohr - BA, BScN, MScN, PhD, RN

Tertiary Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate

Dr. Rosemary Kohr, PhD worked for nearly two decades as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and wound care specialist at the London Health Sciences Centre. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Western Ontario; teaches in the graduate program, Centre of Nursing and Health Studies at Athabasca University; and developed (in collaboration with Dr. Lori Teeple, MD) the Advanced Wound Life Saving (AWLS) MainProC program for physicians. She is a registered nurse in both Ontario and New Brunswick.

She has published and presented her work in international, national and local publications and conferences as well as providing educational and consultative support across Canada. For five years, she provided monthly "Wound Care Rounds" through the Ontario Telemedicine Network. She is the Canadian editor/author of the chapter on Skin and Wound Management in the Fundamentals of Nursing (Potter & Perry Canadian Edition). Her work appears in Lives in the balance: Nurses' stories from the ICU, edited by Tilda Shalof (Kaplan Press, 2009), as well as other international journals. She has a keen interest in Seniors' healthy aging, pain management, in the dynamics of relationships, especially communication, and in the prevention and management of chronic wounds. Dissemination of information, knowledge transfer and uptake in the clinical environment using innovative approaches and electronic technology are fundamental to her work.

Dr. Kohr's clinical research includes evaluation of implementation of best practice guidelines, pain management, wound care and collaborative practice. She has received research grants as well as academic scholarships, and has collaborated on writing a number of successful government grant applications.

For over a decade, Dr. Kohr has provided education and consultation focused in the clinical reality of today’s healthcare environment,  through her company, Kohr Consulting ( She is the former President of the Canadian Association of Advanced Practice Nurses (CAAPN), and a founding member of the Ontario Wound Interest Group (OntWIG). She manages a research grant on Healthy Aging through the University of New Brunswick, and teaches workshops with the HLLN program at York University.




Schulich Executive Hotel on Campus

The Executive Learning Centre features:
• 60 executive style guest rooms on 12 floors each with a queen size bed
• Complimentary high speed internet access
• In room coffee/tea maker
• Wheelchair accessible

Call reservations at (416)-650-8300, book on-line: or


Funding Sources

Please note that these funding sources below are listed here for your information only. York University or HLLN does not directly provide this funding or apply for grants.

Nursing Education Initiative

Nurses taking this program may be eligible to receive reimbursement of up to $1500 from the Education Initiative offered through the RNAO. You do NOT have to be an RNAO member to apply for the funding. Please visit the RNAO website, Education Funding, for more details

The Allied Health Professional Development Fund

Allied Health professionals taking this Workshop may be eligible to receive reimbursement of up to $1500 from the Allied Health Professional Development Fund offered through HealthForce Ontario. Please visit the HealthForce Ontario website for more details

The Canada-Ontario Job Grant

Through the Canada-Ontario Job Grant you may be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in government support per person for training costs.
The Canada-Ontario Job Grant can be used to purchase training for your employees. York University/The Health Leadership & Learning Network is an eligible training provider and the grant can be applied to all of our offerings and for in-house training.
You can apply at any time. Employers can apply for one employee or for a large group of employees
If you are an employee or employer and would like more information visit:

Please note: Not all employers are eligible to apply, please consult the Canada-Ontario Job Grant website for more details.

Second Career

The Second Career program through Employment Ontario provides financial support for skills training needed for jobs in demand. You can apply for up to $28,000 for costs including tuition, books, transportation, basic living expenses and child care.
You qualify for Second Career when:
• you have been laid off and have not been working
• you have been laid off and are working a temporary job just to cover costs
• you are receiving Employment Insurance (EI), or have in the past, you can still apply
To apply to Second Career, you have to work with an employment services agency. Training occupations must demonstrate evidence of good employment prospects in your local labour market. For more information, visit: