Health Navigator Certificate Program

See the interview in Pacific Health Magazine with Pam Koppel, Program Director of the Health Navigator Certificate Program.

This program is a combination of on-site and online learning. To find out if you're ready for online learning please see "Are You Ready For Online Learning?". Also, because of the online component, it requires some actions to be taken before the class begins. To find out what they are go to "What To Do Before Your Online Class".


About the Program

Be a pioneer. Make an impact in the emerging and changing US health care systems. Join an exciting new movement to introduce Patient Navigators with an Integrative Health Specialty into the landscape of western medicine. Our year Certificate Program prepares graduates to do just that!

"Patient Navigators" are popping up everywhere these days. This growing profession is ranked high in a recent study of emerging encore careers in the health care field. Training in this new role provides students with the skills to navigate clients in medical offices, hospitals, complementary care offices and more. 

The SSU-IMCF Patient Navigator Certificate Program--one of the most comprehensive Patient Navigator training programs 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. This program will offer an in-depth look at a holistic approach to health care, recognizing and responding to the wide-spread use of complementary and alternative therapies amongst the general population, and the benefits of integrating these therapies with western medicine. Certified Navigators will have skills to support patients not only with cancer, but also chronic diseases, family challenges, and wellness and prevention goals, all using a wide breadth of resources and options to meet the healthcare needs and vision of the clients.

Admission to the program requires an application. The program is offered in partnership with the Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation. The curriculum has been approved by the Nursing and Counseling Departments at SSU.

For information on fees and further details, please see FAQ's.

Who should attend

  • Registered Nurses or Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Licensed alternative practitioners such as acupuncturists, chiropractors, or physical therapists
  • Non-licensed individuals interested in learning to become a "lay" navigator
  • Individuals interested in starting a private Navigation practice
  • Individuals interested in learning or expanding essential skills for patient/client-centered practices, that will apply to any service career.

Certificate Requirements

Students must complete 180 hours of class time and a minimum 96 hours of fieldwork.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this program will be qualified to work as:

  • Navigators in physicians' offices, hospitals, and licensed medical clinics
  • Navigators in non-profit organizations
  • Navigators in Complementary and Alternative Medicine offices
  • Integrative Health Navigators in private practice
  • A support person in any profession (the navigator has training in) that benefits from a person who can truly listen, drop his/her own "agenda" and help others find the answers that are right for them. 

Affiliated Organization

Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation. Cynthia Calmenson, Executive Director.

Courses By Term


Spring 2014