Occupational Health Nurse Job Description

Occupational Health Nurse Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for an occupational health nurse job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of an occupational health nurse. Feel free to use our occupational health nurse job description template to produce your own occupational health nurse job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as an occupational health nurse.


Who is an Occupational Health Nurse?

An occupational health nurse is a registered nurse in charge of the health and safety of employees in an organization. Occupational health nurses, also known as environmental health nurses, are employed by business owners to oversee employee health and well-being.

These health professionals collaborate with employers and employees to ensure that workers are safe in their workplaces. They have prior experience in community health care, critical care, or emergency nursing.

The primary goals of occupational health nurses are to protect workers from hazards associated with their jobs and the environment, as well as to promote and restore their health.

In most cases, to perform their duties, they visit various work locations to identify potential hazards and implement procedures to address them. After considering the work environments and habits of the employees, occupational health nurses may develop guidelines and policies to aid in the prevention of illnesses and accidents in the workplace.

Furthermore, they apply their business and health knowledge to advance a secure, safe, and healthy workplace.

Because employers place a high value on preventing workplace lawsuits, illnesses, and accidents, occupational health nurses are in high demand.

In light of this, Occupational health nurses must be creative, proactive, and driven to help their fellow employees. They must also be good communicators in order to inform and enlighten workers on the importance of health and safety. An occupational health nurse must be able to remain calm under pressure, be encouraging and compassionate, and work well in groups.


Occupational Health Nurse Job Description

What is an occupational health nurse job description? An occupational health nurse job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of an occupational health nurse in an organization. Below are the occupational health nurse job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write an occupational health nurse job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of an occupational health nurse include the following:

  • Advising employees on issues concerning mental and physical health.
  • Conducting employee drug and alcohol tests, as well as vision and hearing tests.
  • Identifying workplace hazards and assisting in the development of safety policies and procedures.
  • Determining whether the employee requires external medical care or can be treated locally.
  • Gathering the necessary hazard and health data to investigate the effects of specific exposures on workers.
  • Implementing occupational and environmental health and safety training and education.
  • Collaborating with doctors and other members of the medical staff to develop patient treatment plans.
  • Prescribing drugs or referring patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes or asthma to doctors.
  • Maintaining knowledge of science, law, and business as they relate to the nursing profession.
  • Creating and managing disease prevention initiatives that promote exercise, a healthy diet, and smoking cessation.
  • Keeping track of and treating employee illnesses and injuries at work.
  • Establishing contacts with other medical specialists, such as doctors, therapists, and social workers, who can provide patients with additional assistance.
  • Directing and carrying out emergency and disaster preparedness plans and programs.
  • Ensuring that workplaces comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).
  • Promoting the rights of employees to practical, easily accessible health and safety programs.
  • Collaborating with community organizations and health professionals on research projects and safety measures.
  • Working with business leaders to reduce the cost of disability claims and other related expenses.
  • Assisting in the management of both short-term and long-term disability cases, including making insurance or health-care arrangements, continuing rehabilitation, and return-to-work guidelines.
  • Conducting interviews and screening new hires to ensure they are capable of performing the tasks required for their positions.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the health of workers, worker populations, and community groups



The qualifications required to become an occupational health nurse are as follows:

  • A registered nurse’s license.
  • An associate’s degree in nursing with a concentration in occupational health.
  • Two to five years of experience as an occupational health nurse.
  • A thorough understanding of safety and health precautions.
  • Teaching and learning abilities.
  • Critical thinking ability.
  • A strong emphasis on the details.


Essential Skills

The following competencies are necessary for occupational health nurses to stay relevant in this field:

  • Medical Expertise

Medical expertise as the name implies is the ability to understand medical jargon and apply it to care for patients. This is a highly needed skill because occupational health nurses frequently deal with patients whose medical conditions limit their ability to perform their job duties. occupational health nurses with in-depth medical knowledge, can understand their patients’ medical conditions as well as provide them with the care they require.

  • Empathy

Occupational health nurses frequently work with patients who are in emotional and physical pain. Empathy is the ability to understand and experience the emotions of others. Being empathetic aid occupational health nurses connect with patients thereby giving them the sense that they are heard and understood. By doing so, you can gain patients’ trust and persuade them to stick to your treatment plan.

  • Substance Abuse Screening

Substance abuse is a common health problem for many patients, and as an occupational health nurse, you may be in charge of providing substance abuse treatment. Understanding the various substances that people abuse, how to spot signs of addiction, and how to effectively treat it are all required for this. Your occupational health experts can also be used to assist employers in developing drug-free workplace policies and providing resources to employees who require them.

  • Risk Prevention

Occupational health nurses use risk prevention skills to identify potential workplace risks and hazards. This will allow them to take the necessary precautions to protect employees from illnesses and injuries.

  • Leadership Skill

Occupational health nurses perform managerial and administrative duties in addition to providing healthcare. They interact with people at all levels of the organization and frequently serve as supervisors. Strong leadership qualities enable nurses to not only inspire confidence in those they work with or care for but also to feel comfortable delegating tasks when necessary, thereby increasing the system’s efficiency.

  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Daily, occupational health nurses interact with others. Their interpersonal and communication skills make a huge difference in how well they can do their jobs, whether it’s suggesting organizational-wide improvements or caring for an injured employee. Nurses can connect with people more effectively by using techniques such as active listening, respectful language and manners, empathy, and compassion.

  • Wound Treatment

Excellent wound treatment skills may be required for positions in health nursing. You can assist employees who have been injured on the job by using your wound care skills. This could include dressing wounds, collecting wound swabs, and cleaning cuts.

  • Technical Expertise

Most office workers use technology to manage information related to their daily tasks. As an occupational health nurse, you may be required to update the employee health records on the office software. The software can be used to evaluate the results of medical tests or to determine what type of medication to give patients. By improving your technical skills, you can easily use the technology provided at work.

  • Task-Switching

Being able to do several things well at the same time is a valuable skill for occupational health nurses to have. For example, you may be required to create health education materials while also caring for sick patients. You can improve the quality of your work by being able to meet deadlines and provide excellent service while multitasking.

  • Patient Education

Patient education is an important skill to have because occupational health nurses frequently deal with patients who are unaware of their conditions or workplace safety. This skill is required for the patient to understand their condition and make decisions about their care.

  • Teamwork

Occupational health and safety nurses frequently collaborate with other healthcare professionals, employers, and employees. Teamwork skills aid them to prepare workplace safety policies for other team members, and they can also use this skill to their advantage when participating in various business activities.

  • Attention to Detail

As an occupational health nurse, you may be required to examine patient records and assess their medical conditions. Paying attention to detail can help you identify significant information about the patient’s history or current condition in order to accurately recommend a course of treatment. It can also be useful when compiling data on patients’ treatment progress.


How to Become an Occupational Health Nurse

Follow the steps below to become an Occupational Health nurse:

  • Step 1: Earn a Nursing Degree

The first step toward becoming an occupational health nurse is to obtain a nursing degree. This is critical because most employers require that you complete your nursing registration before applying for occupational health nurse positions. A registered nurse can obtain a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in nursing. Both programs require general education classes as well as specialized training to provide patient care on the job. Anatomy, nutrition, microbiology, and chemistry are just a few of the many topics covered in courses taught both in the classroom and on the job.

  • Step 2: Take the Registered Nurse  (RN) Exam

Once you graduate, you will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Nursing students must pass this national exam to become licensed registered nurses in the United States. This exam assesses your understanding of the topics covered in your degree program to determine whether you are qualified and prepared to work as a registered nurse. You can choose from a variety of categories, including those for health promotion and maintenance, physiologic integrity, a safe and effective care environment, and psychosocial integrity.

  • Step 3: Obtain an Advanced Degree

You should consider furthering your education to broaden your professional knowledge.

Although most employers do not require it, some may prefer that you have a master’s degree in a nursing-related field. You can also get a degree in a related field, such as public health or business, to learn more about how common environments work and how to keep them safe.

A master’s or doctoral degree can help you expand your knowledge. When applying for jobs, having more education can help you stand out from the crowd and earn a higher salary.

More so, an advanced degree can help you stand out to employers by demonstrating that you have advanced knowledge of preventing workplace hazards, illnesses, or injuries.

  • Step 4: Get Work Experience

Several years of relevant work experience are required to become an occupational health nurse. You can gain general nursing experience by working in clinical, corporate, or educational nursing roles. Some employers prefer the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s field training programs for prospective occupational health nurses.

Gaining practical experience in your field will help you understand how to respond to and handle specific workplace challenges as they arise.

  • Step 5: Receive your Certification

The majority of states require occupational nurses to be certified by the American Board of Occupational Health Nurses. This certification requires that you be a fully qualified registered nurse with at least 3,000 hours of occupational health-related work experience. You may be able to satisfy the work-related requirements if you obtain a relevant graduate degree. Before you can work as a certified occupational health nurse, you must meet these requirements.

  • Step 6: Continue Learning

To stay current in your field, keep up with medical research and any other hot topics that concern your line of work. Participate in nursing forums to learn more and network with other professionals in your field. You can hone your skills as an occupational health nurse by taking classes and reading books.

Any changes to regulatory guidelines should be communicated to your employer as soon as possible so that you can implement them.


Where to Work as an Occupational Health Nurse

Occupational health nurses work in a variety of settings to implement policies and procedures to ensure workplace safety. Occupational health nurses work for production and manufacturing companies, hospitals, counselling services, financial and insurance companies, multinational corporations, as well as governmental and nonprofit organizations.

In an office setting, they treat patients, research the effects of various injuries and illnesses, and write reports for employers as an occupational health nurse. Occupational health nurses are also required to travel to various job sites to provide risk management and nursing services. They work full or part-time, and their hours may vary, depending on the demands of their patients and the workplace.


Occupational Health Nurse Salary

The average annual wage for an occupational health nurse is about $75,501, according to PayScale.com. An occupational nurse’s earning potential will be influenced by a number of important variables, such as their employer, level of experience, credentials held, and the city and state where they work. Occupational nurses typically receive annual salaries as well as benefits like health insurance, which typically covers medical, dental, vision, and prescription coverage.

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