Degree Finder - Find your online college in 3 easy steps:

Occupational Health Nurse

The workplace is where most people spend the majority of their day. Therefore, it only makes sense that employers strive to keep work environments as safe as possible so that the chances for employee injury are kept to a minimum. Occupational health nurses analyze work environments as well as employees for signs of health issues. Their primary duty is to prevent job-related illnesses and injuries. They listen to employee comments and complaints about comfort and safety and perform tests to determine what hazards exist, if any. They also document injuries and illnesses caused at the workplace. They also assist employers in creating and implementing health and safety standards.

Nurses specializing in occupational health must first become registered nurses (RNs). This can be accomplished by completing either a diploma program from a nursing school, an associate degree in nursing, or a bachelor’s degree in nursing and passing the NCLEX-RN examination. Students should take courses in community health and nursing research during their educational career to prepare them for the occupational health role. After completing the nursing program, new RNs must seek certification, which is available from the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses. There are different certification levels available with varying requirements, so prospective occupational health nurses should look over the options available to them.

Nursing is one of the biggest fields in the health care industry with many niche specialties that deal with various aspects of health care. Occupational health nurses play an important part in health care, ensuring the safety of workers in the offices and warehouses and factories where they spend most of their days. The demand for occupational health nurses may slow due to the decline of factory work in the country as more industry jobs are outsourced, but there will remain a steady need for these nurses to regulate other work environments. Occupational health nurses make a substantial living, earning about $58,900 annually, according to PayScale, a company that specializes in compensation data.