Occupational Health Nurse

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BASIC DESCRIPTION

Occupational health nurses work in a variety of settings to keep workers healthy and to prevent work-related injuries. These nurses provide direct care services to employees on the job, host health promotion activities, and provide workers’ compensation case management. This nurse is also often responsible for treatment of hazards in specific work environments. Practice settings include businesses, industries, government facilities, and shopping malls.

EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Registered nurse preparation is required; Bachelor of Science in Nursing is often preferred, and graduate education may be required. Usually 2 years of medical/surgical experience is required. Certification in specialized occupational health nursing roles is available from the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses, Inc.

CORE COMPETENCIES/SKILLS NEEDED

■ Knowledge of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and workers’ compensation laws
■ Ability to maintain, protect, and preserve the health of employees in their work environment
■ Ability to analyze and prioritize risk factors to achieve highest level of health among employees
■ Ability to coordinate care
■ Assist in meeting OSHA standards
■ Ability to provide health education
■ Ability to manage crises/emergencies
■ Autonomy
■ Innovative thinker
■ Good communication skills
■ Excellent health assessment skills
■ Effective manager

RELATED WEB SITES AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

■ American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, Inc. (www.aaohn.org)
■ American Board for Occupational Health Nurses, Inc. (www.abohn.org)

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