Oncology Nurse Navigators

african american medical nurse comforting senior patientA nurse navigator or sometimes called a patient navigator is a medical professional whose clinical expertise and training guides patients and their caregivers to make informed decisions, collaborates with a multidisciplinary team to allow for timely cancer diagnosis, and treatment, and provides increased supportive care throughout their cancer journey. Rutgers Cancer Institute and RWJBarnabas Health have a robust oncology nurse navigation program.  

Patients are introduced to the oncology nurse navigator program at their initial appointment. They quickly become part of the patient’s care team and remain with them during and after treatment, all the way through aspects of survivorship. Nurse navigators help identify and address any barriers the patient may encounter and also helps ensure a seamless coordination of services between all members of the health care team, even if they are at different locations across the health system.


At Rutgers Cancer Institute, most care teams have a specific nurse navigator assigned to them.  These include:

Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and Leukemia/Lymphoma/Hematologic Malignancies
Madelline Cruz, RN- Inpatient

Gynecologic Oncology Program
Edite Valentim, RN-MSN, OCN

Prostate Cancer and Urologic Oncology Program
George Wang, RN

Gastrointestinal/Hepatobiliary Oncology Tumor Program and Liver Cancer and Bile Duct Cancer Program
Jodi Castiglia, MSN, RN-BC

Endocrine and Neuroendocrine Tumor Program

Lung Cancer/Thoracic Oncology Program

Phase I/Developmental Therapeutics Program
Laura Sullivan, RN, BSN

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program
Sharon Shih, RN, BSN  and
Claudia Junchaya-Jenssen, RN, BSN, CPHON (Sickle Cell)

Head and Neck Oncology Program

OCM Navigator
Cho Chan, BSN, RN, OCN

Inpatient Oncology
Madelline Cruz, BSN, RN