Considering a career in occupational health nursing? Here’s everything you need to know about how to become an occupational health nurse.
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Introduction: What is an Occupational Health Nurse?
An occupational health nurse is a Registered Nurse who has specialized training and experience in promoting the health and well-being of workers. Their focus is on preventing work-related injuries and illnesses, and they play an important role in developing and implementing workplace health and safety programs.
Occupational health nurses typically work in industries with high injury rates, such as manufacturing or construction. They may also work in healthcare settings, such as hospitals or clinics, where they provide care to workers who have been injured on the job.
Becoming an occupational health nurse requires completing a accredited Registered Nurse program and obtaining a state license. Specialized training is then needed to prepare for the Certified Occupational Health Nurse (COHN) exam, which is administered by the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses.
The Importance of Occupational Health Nursing
As our world becomes more and more industrialized, the importance of occupational health nursing increases. These nurses are specially trained to deal with the health hazards that are associated with different occupations. They work with employees and employers to ensure that workplaces are safe and that workers are healthy.
There are many different risks that workers face in different occupations. Some of these risks include exposure to hazardous materials, repetitive motion injuries, and workplace violence. Occupational health nurses help to identify these risks and develop strategies to mitigate them. They also provide education to workers on how to stay safe and healthy while on the job.
If you are interested in becoming an occupational health nurse, there are a few things you will need to do. First, you will need to obtain a registered nursing license. Then, you will need to complete a degree or certificate program in occupational health nursing. Once you have completed your education, you will need to pass the certification exam offered by the American Nurses Association’s Commission on Certification in Occupational Health Nursing.
The Role of Occupational Health Nurses
Occupational health nurses play an important role in the promotion of worker health and safety. They work with employers to develop and implement programs that improve worker productivity and reduce work-related injuries and illnesses. In addition, occupational health nurses provide direct patient care to workers who are injured or become ill while on the job.
The Education and Training Required to Become an Occupational Health Nurse
In order to become an occupational health nurse, you will need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing. However, many employers prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in occupational health nursing or a related field. You will also need to be licensed as a registered nurse in the state in which you plan to practice. Once you have met these basic requirements, you can then begin to specialize in occupational health nursing by completing a certification program offered by the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses.
The Certification and Licensure Required to Become an Occupational Health Nurse
To become an occupational health nurse, you must first become a registered nurse (RN). The certification and licensure required to become an RN vary from state to state, but all states require that you pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). You can then pursue a specialization in occupational health nursing through a certificate or master’s degree program.
Once you have completed your educational requirements, you must pass the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Occupational Health Nursing Certification Examination to earn the Certified Occupational Health Nurse-Specialist (COHN-S) credential. To maintain this credential, you must complete continuing education credits every five years. You may also need to renew your RN license every two years.
The Job Outlook for Occupational Health Nurses
The job outlook for occupational health nurses is very positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of registered nurses will grow by 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.1 job seekers with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and experience in occupational health will have the best opportunities.
As the workforce continues to age, there will be an increasing need for occupational health nurses to help workers stay healthy and productive. Jobs will be available in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, corporate wellness programs, and government agencies.
The Salary and Benefits of Occupational Health Nurses
There are many different types of nurses, and each type of nurse has a different salary and set of benefits. The salary and benefits of occupational health nurses are both very attractive, making this a great career choice for those who are interested in helping others stay healthy and safe in the workplace.
Occupational health nurses help employees stay healthy and productive by identifying and addressing health risks in the workplace. They also develop and implement health and safety programs, provide vaccinations and screenings, and educate employees about staying healthy at work.
The average salary for an occupational health nurse is $66,000 per year, with the top 10% earning over $91,000 per year. Occupational health nurses also receive excellent benefits, including medical insurance, retirement savings plans, paid time off, and continuing education opportunities.
The Best Places to Work as an Occupational Health Nurse
There are many great places to work as an occupational health nurse. Here are a few of the best places to work, based on job satisfaction, salary, and career advancement opportunities:
-Hospitals: Occupational health nurses working in hospitals have the opportunity to care for a wide variety of patients with diverse needs. They may work in the emergency room, labor and delivery, or in one of the many outpatient clinics. Hospitals offer good salaries and benefits, and many have tuition reimbursement programs for employees who wish to further their education.
-Clinics: There are many clinics that specialize in occupational health care. These clinics usually have a staff of nurses and physicians who work together to provide care for patients. The pay is usually good at these facilities, and they usually offer good benefits and career advancement opportunities.
-Insurance Companies: Many insurance companies have occupational health departments that employ nurses. These nurses provide care for employees who have been injured on the job or who have contracted an illness at work. They may also provide preventive care services, such as flu shots and blood pressure screenings. Insurance companies typically offer good salaries and benefits packages to their employees.
-Law Firms: Many law firms have clients who have been injured on the job or who have contracted an illness at work. These firms often hire occupational health nurses to care for their clients. The pay is usually good at these firms, and they often offer good benefits and career advancement opportunities.
The Most Common Occupational Health Nursing Specialties
There are a variety of occupational health nursing specialties, each with its own unique set of responsibilities. Here are some of the most common:
-Employee Health Nurses assess and provide direct care to employees who are injured or ill. They also develop and implement employee health programs, such as immunization programs and wellness initiatives.
-Occupational Exposure Nurses work with employees who have been exposed to hazardous materials, such as chemicals or pathogens. They provide education on how to avoid or minimize exposure and treat any resulting illnesses or injuries.
-Ergonomics Nurses specialize in optimizing workstation design and work tasks to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. They also provide employee training on proper ergonomic principles.
-Safety Nurses work to prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace by developing and implementing safety programs. They also conduct investigations after accidents occur to determine their cause and make recommendations for prevention in the future.
FAQs About Becoming an Occupational Health Nurse
Occupational health nursing is a specialty area of nursing that focuses on the promotion and maintenance of the health and safety of workers in the workplace. Occupational health nurses work with employers and employees to identify and prevent health and safety hazards in the workplace, and to provide care for workers who are injured or become ill as a result of their work.
If you are interested in becoming an occupational health nurse, there are a few things you should know. Here are some frequently asked questions about becoming an occupational health nurse:
What education do I need to become an occupational health nurse?
To become an occupational health nurse, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited nursing program. You will also need to obtain a registered nurse (RN) license from your state’s Board of Nursing. After you have obtained your RN license, you can pursue further education in occupational health nursing by obtaining a master’s degree or doctorate in nursing, or by completing a post-master’s certificate program in occupational health nursing.
What types of jobs can I get as an occupational health nurse?
As an occupational health nurse, you can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, corporate wellness programs, government agencies, and private companies. You may also find employment as a consultant or educator on topics related to occupational health and safety.
What are some of the duties of an occupational health nurse?
Some of the duties of an occupational health nurse include conducting employee Health Risk Assessments (HRAs), developing and implementing employee wellness programs, conducting worksite ergonomic assessments, providing first aid and emergency care, and investigating work-related injuries and illnesses.