According to the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, an occupational health nurse is a nursing professional who seeks to "provide for and deliver health and safety programs and services to workers, worker populations and community groups." In some cases, occupational health nurses may be referred to as occupational and environmental health nurses (OHNs) because they work closely alongside employers and employees to ensure that workers stay safe in their workplace environment. While many people seem to think that only some workplaces are hazardous, this simply isn't the case. There are hazards in every kind of workplace, from restaurants to construction sites. Workplace hazards can be anything from employee carelessness, machinery, falling objects, chemicals, or computer screens. Occupational health nurses' knowledge of business and health allows them to promote a safe and healthy workplace environment while also preserving a company's bottom line.
Tasks and duties which are commonly carried out by occupational health nurses include:
Occupational health nurses often find employment in the following:
Before you can become an occupational health nurse, you'll need to obtain the required nursing degree and RN license. Prospective occupational health nurses must also gain some experience in the specialty field of occupational health nursing or complete an occupational health certificate program before sitting for the certification exam, which is administered by the American Board of Occupational Health Nurses.
To become an occupational health nurse, the following educational requirements must be met:
Yes, occupational health nurses are required to hold active and unrestricted RN licenses. They should also have acquired the occupational health certification credential that can be gained through the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses.
Individuals can gain certifications in occupational health nursing through the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses. To be eligible to for the Certified Occupational Health Nurse (COHN) credential examination, you will need to have following requirements fulfilled prior to registering for the exam:
The demand for occupational health nurses is on the upswing as employers try to find new ways to cut costs and remain up-to-date with employment laws. If you wish to work in a desirable specialty area that's currently flourishing in today's job market, a career as a Certified Occupational Health Nurse may be for you.
According to PayScale.com, the average yearly salary of an occupational health nurse is approximately $70,689. Some key factors that will contribute to the earning potential of an occupational nurse include things like employer, experience level, credentials held, and the city and state of employment. In most cases, in addition to their annual salaries, occupational nurses will also receive benefits like health insurance which generally will include medical, dental, vision, and prescription. Retirement and life insurance plans may be available. It's customary for most employers to provide occupational nurses with some annual paid time-off/sick leave.