California Program to Train Patient Navigators

Sonoma State University in Northern California is introducing a one-year certification program to prepare graduates to become "patient navigators," a growing profession that ranked high in a recent study of emerging encore careers.

Offered in partnership with Sonoma County's Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation, the one-year program will debut in the fall of 2010. It is open to participants nationwide. Courses will be mostly online, with live meetings one weekend per month at Sonoma State University, which is located in Rohnert Park, Calif., just north of San Francisco.

Training as a patient navigator can provide job opportunities in hospitals, medical offices, complementary care offices and more.

The SSU-IMCF Patient Navigation Certificate Program - the most comprehensive patient navigator training program in the country to date - will train graduates to support patients with information and resources for basic needs, navigate complex medical systems and expand on the existing model of patient navigator, which at this point is mostly seen in cancer treatment settings.

Recognizing the widespread use of alternative therapies among the general population, the program will offer an in-depth survey of complementary medicine. Certified navigators will have the skills to support not only cancer patients, but also those with chronic diseases, family challenges, and wellness and prevention goals.

For more information and to enroll online, visit the Sonoma State College website.

Learn more about health navigator training programs.

Read about jobs of the future in health care.