This profession is open to registered nurses, nursing practitioners and nursing aides who have educational qualification of a master’s degree. They are responsible for health care of the company’s employees. The number of OHNs is dependent on the size of organization. They can either be employed in a private consultancy alone or member of an occupational group called environmental health and safety (EHS) team. Occupational nurses are addressed as Corporate nurse, Nurse educators, Clinical Nurses, Nurse Consultants, and Clinical nurse managers. The names vary depending on the level of education attained in Nursing Field.
Here’s how to become one.
What is an Occupational Nurse?
An occupational nurse is licensed and certified health professionals with Nursing Degree, Registered Nurses or equivalent education and training who are employed in certain industries other than hospitals with main function as the health watcher of the employees.
Duties of an Occupational Nurse
- Basic task is ensuring minimal health issues or injuries of the workers within the industry. To make this possible, an OHN needs to be knowledgeable of what kind of risks to employees’ health that the industry have. In short, one has to know what kind of industry he is working for.
- Initiates preparative training to refrain from acquiring possible health hazards within the workplace and educate the individuals of the steps to take should threat to health occurs.
- Constant monitoring of medical history of the workers. This can be done through random, screening tests, and annual physical examination.
Work Condition of an Occupational Nurse
Unlike a regular hospital nursing practice, Occupational Nurses or better called as Occupational Health Nurse works for organizations, businesses and companies/ industries and some work for private consultation practice doctors in a clinic set up.
Educational Requirements of an Acupuncturist
To get certified as an Occupational Nurse, the following needs to be met:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from a college or university or an equivalent vocational course like nursing aides and nursing associates, which takes 2 years to finish . Some reaches the master’s degree. Others acquire training from The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
- Any of the above mentioned educational requisites; an aspirant should have a Diploma in clinical nursing and high passing NCLEX-RN examination score and licensure given by the state they are practicing.
- Become certified through The American Board of Occupational Health Nurses (ABOHN) by passing a multiple choice examination with 150 questions to be finished within 3 hours.
- Other levels of Occupational Nursing may require 3,000 hours of Occupational Health Nursing experience before certification.
Occupation and Progress of an Occupational Nurse
There is a clear career path for Occupational Nurses. Their level of advancement depends on the education and experience acquired. One can start as entry level nursing practitioner like a 2yr courser does even if he is Registered Nurse with a Bachelor’s Degree. But experience will lead them to higher post and better compensation. There is no question about how well you did in class, or what your score during certification was, but how you manage to become best at what an OHN has to perform. Promotion is just around the corner, but passion to serve and have healthy and hazard-free work environment has to come from a candidate’s heart. Where employees of the company he works for has least number of recorded Health issues is a job well done for each OHN.