Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

An Occupational Health Nurse Requires the Proper Education and Skills

Higher Education Articles August 30, 2013

Dangerous work environments cause devastating effects on employees’ health, if not receiving the necessary treatment from an occupational health nurse. Occupational health nurses are registered nurses who often receive their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees as they assess the workers’ health, treat illnesses or injuries, and help companies develop safety and health programs for all employees.

Nursing professionals in this field have diverse roles based on the industry field they are working in (construction, health, meat packing and manufacturing), as well as varied job duties based on their work position. Possible job positions include clinicians, consultants, case managers, and educators, according to the ExploreHealthCareers.org. Based on the job position the occupational nurse has and the industry they are working in will dictate the type of education and skills they should have to complete their job duties. Read the article information below to find the basic education and skills needed to become an occupational health nurse.

Occupational Health Nurse Education Requirements

Nursing professionals seeking to become an occupational health nurse must first receive the required education to be certified registered nurses. This requires a nurse to attend a community or vocational school to obtain an associate degree in nursing, or attend a four-year university to take the RN-BSN program courses. Other nurses receive the necessary training and education for a master’s degree as they become certified nurse practitioners before specializing in occupational health.

Students will normally learn about injury prevention, assessment of workers’ health issues, treatment and developing health programs. Intervention and identification of health hazards are additional core subjects students will learn in class, according to Harvard School of Public Health.

All people in the nursing profession must take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam to first become certified registered nurses. After certification, continued education and clinical training in occupational health may be obtained through the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Nurse practitioners must receive certification through the American Board of Occupational Health Nurses to be called an occupational health nurse.

Each state has particular requirements and guidelines for a person to practice nursing. So, an occupational health nurse will need to follow guidelines to receive a state nursing license, according to the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Skills of an Occupational Health Nurse

Prevention, intervention, and treatment encompass most of an occupational health nurse’s job duties. During educational courses and training, the nurses will acquire skills that will let them effectively complete their roles in this nursing profession. Certain skills to have as an occupational health nurse include:

Detail Oriented Skills

Occupational health nurses must be detailed oriented to document all health hazards in the work environment and any injuries caused by these hazards. They must accurately describe and report all working conditions while forming plans for safety and health programs for the company.

Communication Skills

Great oral and written communication skills allow occupational nurses to handle workers’ responses and complaints about exposures and dangerous working conditions. This interpersonal skill is also needed for the nurses to give treatment to workers who have injuries or illnesses, along with performing follow-up communication to find out about the worker’s recovering health and to issue follow-up care.

Analytical Skills

Assessment of the working environment, identifying dangerous health conditions, and implementing emergency planning are all part of the analytical skills that nurses in this professional field should have. Analytical skills also allow the occupational health nurse to monitor a worker’s health and recommend the proper treatment.

Occupational Health Nurse Profession

Proper education, training and certification permit a nurse to seek this specialized field to become an occupational health nurse. As a highly skilled nursing professional, people in this field can seek employment in a number of industries with companies eager for their services.

So, it is essential for nurses seeking to advance in this field to receive as much education and training as they can for certification. Before enrolling in an educational program, ensure that it has been reviewed and approved by the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses and the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses, so you are receiving approved coursework.

Showing schools in your area

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Fortis offers nursing programs including ADN, PN, BSN degrees, and more
  • 40+ schools in 15 states including Florida, Arizona, Ohio, and Virginia
  • All colleges are accredited by ABHES, ACCSC, ACICS, or other accrediting bodies
  • Fortis Online serves benefits to US military service members
  • Grants & scholarship aid may be available for qualifying students
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Why Earn Your Degree from GCU?
  • Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more!
  • Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both!
  • Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
  • Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
  • Quality: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is regionally accredited. Learn more today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Showing schools in your area

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!