Occupational Health Nurse
Occupational Health Nurses (OHN) are Registered Nurses who independently observe and assess workers' health status with respect to job tasks and hazards. Using their specialized experience and education, they recognize and prevent health effects from hazardous exposures and treat workers' injuries and illnesses.
OHNs work with employers to develop innovative and business-compatible health and safety programs, in response to each organization's unique type of work, workforce, and work/community environments. They promote an interdisciplinary approach to health care and advocate for the employee's right to prevention-oriented, cost-effective health and safety programs.The available roles in this profession are extremely diverse, covering any and all of the wide-ranging issues related to occupational health and safety. OHNs work as clinicians, educators, case managers, corporate directors, or consultants. They also have a broad array of responsibilties, including:
OHNs counsel workers about work-related illness and injuries and emotional and/or family problems. They refer clients to employee assistance programs and/or other community resources, and handle and coordinate follow-up care.
They also develop health education and disease management programs that encourage workers to take responsibility for their own health, such as smoking cessation, exercise/fitness, nutrition and weight control, stress management, control of chronic illnesses and effective use of medical services.Occupational Health Nurses monitor the health status of workers, worker populations and community groups by conducting research on the effects of workplace exposures, gathering health and hazard data.
Organizations have good reason to hire Occupational Health Nurses, because these highly skilled health professionals help maximize employee productivity and reduce costs by effectively lowering disability claims, reducing on-the-job injuries and absenteeism, and improving employee health and safety.
The work environment for Occupational Health Nurses is as varied as their roles, ranging from classroom (educator) to boardroom (corporate director) to clinic (clinician, case manager, NP) to business setting (consultant). The work schedule is usually M-F, but may vary, depending upon the work environment, position, and responsibilities. According to the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN), the average salary is $63,472.
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
Federal Versus Private Loans: Do Your Homework!
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 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
To apply to an Occupational Health Nursing program, you first must hold an RN or BSN degree. Your OHN training may lead to a Master's or doctoral degree, depending upon the program. Search for schools that provide training for this career.
After completing your education, you may sit for the national certification exam to become a Certified Occupational Health Nurse (COHN).
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: August 28, 2015
©2012 American Dental Education Association