Wendt Cancer Nurse Navigator | UnityPoint Health - Dubuque
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Oncology Nurse Navigator

At the Wendt Center, we are proud to offer our patients and their families a free service called the Oncology Nurse Navigator program. Our nurse navigator Laura Duerr, RN BSN, has over 28 years of nursing experience and is a retired Navy Lieutenant Commander.  She spent 16 years at Rockford Memorial Hospital gaining vast experience in areas such as oncology, surgery, recovery and case management/discharge planning.  The last 10 years of her nursing career has been in catastrophic case management and at UnityPoint Health - Finley Hospital as an inpatient case manager. In 2014, she transitioned to her role as oncology nurse navigator for the Wendt Center.   

A Day in the Life of an Oncology Nurse Navigator

What is an oncology nurse navigator?

Nurse navigation in cancer care (oncology) refers to the individualized assistance offered to our patients, families, and caregivers by a knowledgeable registered nurse (RN). This role helps to assist you through the complex system of health care so that you can focus on your care and needs.

The program pairs you with our oncology nurse navigator who will be your consistent point of contact throughout your diagnosis, treatment, and onto survivor-ship. The navigator will remain in regular contact with you throughout the entire experience. 

This program is not designed nor intended to circumvent or replace anything your office is currently doing or providing

When is the best time for the oncology nurse navigator to get involved?

It is best to reach out to the oncology nurse navigator as soon as possible after receiving a diagnosis. However, benefits of this service can be received at any stage of the cancer journey. 

What will the Oncology Nurse Navigator provide?

  • The navigator is an experienced and compassionate nurse available to patients.
  • Provides education and assistance in helping patients and families understand the cancer diagnosis and treatment plan while watching closely for any issues that may arise.
  • Acts as the consistent point of contact throughout diagnosis, treatment and onto survivor-ship.       
  • Serves, in part, as a care coordinator, educator, counselor for patients and families understanding that each patient's needs are highly individualized.  
  • Improves patient outcomes through support, education, monitoring and early intervention regarding any of the patient's needs. These needs might include practical needs such as transportation, wigs/scarves, and support groups, coping with lifestyle changes, financial, emotional or insurance concerns.

Is there a fee for this service?

We are pleased to provide this service for free to any cancer patient and their families and caregivers. 

Contacting the oncology nurse navigator

If you need assistance or have questions, you may contact Laura directly by calling (563) 589-2549. She is available Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

A word from the Nurse Navigator Laura Duerr, RN, BSN

"I consider it an honor and privilege to be able to come along side of patients and families during this trying, challenging time.  Patients and families continue to teach me that life and relationships are precious gifts to be cherished. I will do my best for each patient and family I am entrusted with."