Nancy Ruffner is a board certified patient advocate, consultant, educator and coach. Ruffner founded Navigate NC, a patient advocacy consulting firm that helps people with medical, legal, insurance and housing challenges. 

Ruffner serves as the voice of patients and their loved ones. She works to achieve respect, to educate and to provide real solutions for all of her clients.

Ruffner is a sought-after consultant in:

  • Health care navigation
  • Patient advocacy
  • Successful aging

She has also worked as an adjunct instructor at Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes programs at Duke University and North Carolina State University, teaching a course she designed called “A Consumer’s Guide to Healthcare Advocacy.”

Ruffner also presents online and in person at events and conferences on topics such as:

  • Aging
  • Communication techniques
  • Living with chronic conditions
  • Navigating a complex health care system
  • Planning

Ruffner has designed and taught coursework within a gerontology curriculum that ushered talented people into the senior care industry. She was among the first in her industry to earn the credential of BCPA, Board Certified Patient Advocate.


  • Aging
  • Health care navigation
  • Patient advocacy
  • Social work


  • North Carolina State University – Graduate Certificate, Counselor Education
  • Western Carolina University – Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work

Licenses and Certifications

  • Board Certified Patient Advocate 


  • Alliance of Professional Healthcare Advocates
  • Greater National Advocates
  • HealthAdvocateX
  • National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants

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