EMS Nurse Navigation Program

Nurse Navigation Program banner, Right Care, Right Time, Right Place

When you call 911, you expect to get the right medical care quickly. Wake County EMS does an excellent job of providing that service now, but it wants to do even more to help residents experiencing health issues.

That’s why we’re launching the new and innovative Nurse Navigation Program.

Starting March 1, if you call 911 with non-life-threatening health concerns, the 911 operator will transfer you to a Nurse Navigator – a registered nurse who will talk with you about your condition and what symptoms you’re experiencing to better understand your situation.

Based on that conversation, the Nurse Navigator will direct you to the right path for treatment and help coordinate your care. The Nurse Navigator may determine a virtual appointment with your doctor is the best option, or they may recommend you drive to the nearest urgent care clinic for an exam. It’s possible the Nurse Navigator may decide your situation is a true emergency, and you need an ambulance to take you to the hospital.

flow chart outlining how the nurse navigation program works

This specialized response to 911 calls ensures you get the right care at the right time at the right place. By offering a tailored approach to care for each caller, we can also help reduce wait times at the hospital, free up more ambulances to respond to emergencies and help patients avoid costly emergency room bills.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Wake County EMS providers still respond and transport me to a hospital if I call 911?

If your condition is an urgent, life threatening or potentially life-threatening emergency, the 911 center will dispatch Wake County EMS first responders who will assess your symptoms, provide treatment and transport you to the hospital if emergency care is needed.

If your condition is not a medical emergency, you may be transferred to the Wake County EMS Nurse Navigation Program, and a Nurse Navigator will assess your symptoms and determine the most appropriate medical care for your condition.

How will a Nurse Navigator determine which medical clinic I will be referred to?

The Nurse Navigator will connect you to the most appropriate level of care available, taking into account your existing primary care provider (if any), the location where you last received care, your location, the time of day and the availability of healthcare providers.

Will the Nurse Navigator schedule an appointment for me at a medical clinic at a predetermined time? Will the staff know when I will arrive and why?

Each clinic has walk-in appointments that will be available for Wake County EMS Nurse Navigation Program patients. The Nurse Navigator will notify the clinic that you are on the way, provide your estimated time of arrival and the reason(s) you are seeking medical care. Upon your arrival, you will be seen as soon as possible.

What qualifications do Nurse Navigators have?

Nurse Navigators are licensed nurses in the State of North Carolina and have professional experience in emergency nursing. They are also specially trained in the practice of telephone triage.

How can I apply to work as a Nurse Navigator?

Wake County is contracting with GMR to provide the Nurse Navigators. They work out of a central office in Dallas. Wake County is not hiring nurses locally to participate in the program.