Patient Navigation Certificate

The Patient Navigation Certificate is an 18 credit focus of study designed to augment current health care knowledge and provide specialized study in the area of patient advocacy, patient care process and health care navigation.

Key Benefits and Highlights

  • Predominantly online format
  • Accelerated - Complete the program in as little as 3 academic semesters based on your pace
  • Federal aid is available to those who are eligible
  • Intended for individuals who are already in the workforce but require additional education
  • Features a fieldwork experience in which students observe, interact with patients and other health care professionals, participate in the effective progression of patients throughout the care process, and learn about effective patient-practitioner communications and the self-management of patient care.
  • Strong and growing market demand
    • Currently a 50% increase between 2016-2024 in the need for patient navigation in health care systems, insurance companies and physician offices.
    • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) considers the field of patient navigation a “bright outlook’’ occupation because “it is projected to have a large number of job openings and is a new and emerging occupation,’’ according to the Occupational Information Network
    • In Pennsylvania, the state Department of Labor & Industry predicts an average of more than 1,300 job openings annually in patient navigation and related fields, according to Hanover Research.

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  • Demonstrate an understanding of the patient care process from a social justice perspective.
  • Demonstrate critical reasoning skills in the patient care process by conducting a client assessment, identifying functional problems, and developing an appropriate intervention plan.
  • Interact and communicate professionally and courteously with clients while demonstrating the necessary clinical competencies required within their respective health care discipline.

Patient Navigation Certificate Course Requirements

MI 106Medical Terminology1
HCM 101 Intro to Health Systems3
HP 125Introduction to Patient Navigation3
HP 135Health Behavior Change Application 3
HP 225Advanced Care Coordination3
HP 235Prevention and Chronic Disease3
HP 325Patient Navigation Fieldwork2

Course Descriptions

MI 106 Medical Terminology (1 credit)

Anatomical names of bones and organs of the body and other descriptive terms and their common abbreviations; prefixes and suffixes, proper usage, spelling, and interpretation of terms. Lecture: 1 hour

HCM 101 Introduction to Health Systems (3 credits)

The course is designed to give students a basic understanding of the health care system in the United States. It describes the basic components of the delivery system, and examines the history and evolution of the system. Trends in health care management, delivery, and financing are analyzed, including a critical analysis of the system, examining its strengths and weaknesses. The features of Medicare and Medicaid programs, including possible future funding scenarios, are thoroughly examined.

HP 125 Introduction to Patient Navigation (3 credits)

The course orients students to basic navigation skills and professionalism. Students will discusses patient navigation roles and responsibilities and effective communication and problem-solving skills. Navigators will also learn how to locate and evaluate patient resources and learn strategies for working with community agencies, healthcare team members, and organizations that serve patients.

HP 135: Health Behavior Change Application (3 credits)

The course focuses on several behavioral and social science theories, determinants of risk, and ways to link theories to prevention interventions. The course includes exercises in understanding the factors that influence behavior; an overview of the different levels of interventions; a framework to link theory, behavioral determinants and interventions; and small group work to strengthen skills learned in the course.

HP 225: Advanced Care Coordination (3 credits)

Healthcare delivery can be very fragmented, which often results in poor health outcomes, patient dissatisfaction, and higher healthcare costs. Coordinated care contributes to patient-centered, high-quality care. This course prepares patient navigators to coordinate care for their clients consistent with Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) guidelines and requirements.

HP 235: Prevention and Chronic Disease (3 credits)

Risk factors that cause disease, preventative measure and recognition of individuals with chronic diseases and how they affect individuals are provided in this course. Health disparities and illness is also a component of the course materials.

HP 325: Patient Navigation Fieldwork (2 credits)

This course requires fieldwork experiences under direct supervision that includes, observation, interaction with patients/clients and other health care professionals, participation in the effective movement of patients across the care continuum, self-management and enhanced patient-practitioner communication. Students are evaluated based on their performance in these areas.

Admissions Requirements

Students may submit a free online application at

Prospective students for the Patient Navigation Certificate program must submit an official college transcript, or a graduating high school transcript/GED certificate for those students without any college credits.

Please note the above listed requirements are general, and that each application is looked at thoroughly, taking into account individual grades, academic rigor, and other factors.

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