Occupational Health Nurse
The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses describes an occupational health nurse as someone who “provides for and delivers health and safety programs and services to workers, worker populations and community groups. The practice focuses on promotion and restoration of health, prevention of illness and injury, and protection from work-related and environmental hazards. Occupational and environmental health nurses have a combined knowledge of health and business that they blend with health care expertise to balance the requirement for a safe and healthful work environment with a ‘healthy’ bottom line.”
Occupational health nurses work with employers and employees to identify health and safety needs in the workplace. To meet those needs, occupational health nurses:
Occupational health nurses work in manufacturing and production facilities, hospitals and medical centers as well as in other employment sectors, including government. Workplace activities might include health and wellness, case management, ergonomics, workplace safety, infection control, disaster preparedness and others such as travel health. Occupational health nurses fill a variety of roles in their jobs, including clinicians, case managers, educators, directors and consultants.
The work schedule is typically Monday through Friday, but may vary, depending upon the work environment, position and responsibilities. According to the 2013 American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Compensation & Benefits Study, the average salary is $82,070.
About a Career as an Occupational Health Nurse
About Health Care Careers
Note: The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses reviewed this profile.
Twenty Years Later: What I Know Now That I Wish I Had Known Then
Part 2: How to Attend College Without Going into Too Much Debt
Part 1: How to Attend College Without Going into Too Much Debt
Criminal Background Check? But, I’m Not A Criminal!
The Impact of Private Loans on Choice of Repayment Strategy
How to Finance Your Health Sciences Education
Part 1: Accreditation Matters
Applying for Financial Aid (Part II)
Are You Credit Ready and Credit Worthy?
Why Diversity Matters in the Health Professions
Start Preparing for Your Health Care Career in High School
Reconciliation Act of 2010 Includes Significant Student Aid Provisions
Healthcare Reform 101
Keep Past Mistakes from Limiting Your Future Health Care Career
Making a Major Decision
Top 10 Reasons to Pursue a Health Career Now
Occupational health nurses must be licensed to practice in the states in which they are employed. Typically, nurses entering the field have a baccalaureate degree in nursing and experience in community health, ambulatory care, critical care or emergency nursing. Many occupational health nurses have obtained master’s degrees in areas such as public health, advanced practice or business, to name a few examples, to continue to build their professional competencies.
Certification in occupational health nursing is available through The American Board for Occupational Health Nurses, Inc. To become a certified occupational health nurse, you must be a registered nurse (RN) with an appropriate degree in nursing, have worked as an RN within the field of occupational health for at least 3,000 hours within the previous five years (or have participated in an occupational health nurse certificate program or graduate level education in occupational health) and pass a certification examination.
Search for funding opportunities related to this career
Search for enrichment programs related to this career
Search for academic degree and certificate programs related to this career
Last updated: May 26, 2016
©2012 American Dental Education Association