What Careers are Available in Occupational Health Nursing?

The careers available in occupational health nursing are mostly based external client sites. This means that RNs who work as occupational health nurses will be employed everywhere from corporate offices to manufacturing facilities.

Corporate Health Nurse

Corporate health nurses are members of employee health service teams. They provide on-site nursing care to employees following company policies and procedures. They act as a health care resource and consultant for subordinate health care personnel. Corporate health nurses assess patient status, conduct intakes and plan nursing care. They provide nursing care related to new employee screening, existing employee periodic screening and work-related injuries or illnesses. They also provide consultations for sick calls, give return to work approvals and educate employees. For example, they may develop and conduct customized training for employee groups experiencing specific health care problems. Corporate health nurses direct and evaluate treatment approaches, improve the quality of care given and participate in interdisciplinary patient care conference calls.

Mobile Surveillance Nurse

A mobile surveillance nurse may work alongside a corporate health nurse. They are responsible for conducting mobile health care screenings, interviews and evaluations. They may schedule and monitor fit testing, provide nutrition consultations and give vaccines to employees. They may temporarily work with infection surveillance and control projects. They may conduct screenings for specific diseases, follow up with doctors regarding any concerns and document all activities. They collaborate with other health care team members to assess and evaluate the coordination of unit functioning and performance. A mobile surveillance nurse will provide medical referrals to private health care and community health organizations. They maintain compliance with local, state and federal regulations and internal occupational health standards.

Occupational Health Nurse

Occupational health nurses work in walk-in health clinics that target services to working adults, according to the American Nurses Association. They may respond to on-scene medical emergencies and may conduct telephone conferences after closing hours. For example, they may be asked to respond to a medical emergency situation in a manufacturing facility. In doing so, they must follow established procedures and maintain awareness of their surroundings. Certain facilities will have physical dangers and chemical agents present. They perform case by case assessments of ill or injured workers to evaluate the nature and extent of the condition. They provide nursing care following established procedures, delegation orders and RN practice scopes. They make appropriate medical referrals, conduct follow-up evaluations and determine the appropriate work status for released workers.

On-Site Occupational Nurse

Many large production and manufacturing facilities employ their own nursing team to provide primary and emergency care for occupational and non-occupational injuries and illnesses. They dispense over the counter and prescription medications, assist with required health assessments and conducting drug and alcohol screening tests. They conduct physical, hearing and basic mental health tests. They follow state, corporate and OSHA regulations. They maintain health records, support health promotion activities and participate in safety and ergonomic programs. On-site occupational nurses maintain and document workers’ compensation files. They may be involved as expert witnesses during internal investigations and workers’ compensation assessments.

Related Resource: Flight Nurse

The careers available in occupational health nursing also include staff, clinical, employee health and supervisory nurse.