Nurse Specialists in Environmental Health
Environmental health (OEH) nursing is a specialization that has increased in demand since the turn of the century. Government regulations and company policies for worker health and protection continue to increase, creating work opportunities for the nurse. Some of the unique responsibilities of environmental nurses include:
- Safety, health risk, and employee injury intervention. This is skewed toward. environment-related situations and conditions.
- Emergency response in serious situations.
- Emergency care training for individuals within the organization.
- The creation of program for general employee heath, including “stop smoking” programs and “exercise and diet” programs.
Some of the most common employment opportunities available include:
- Employee Health and Safety Coordinator
- Occupational Health Managers
- Medical Officer
Degree & Certificate Programs
Various methods of acquiring a degree suitable for environmental health nursing exist. Some of the most common include:
- Clinical Nurse Specialist program – This degree allows OEH specialization. In addition, and Advanced Practice Nursing program (Master’s) can be attained by after the acquision of this degree.
- Environmental Nurse Practitioner program – These provide clinical work and close interaction with patients. Considered an Advanced Practice Specialty degree.
- Occupational Nurse Practitioner program – The curriculum for this degree mirrors that of the Environmental Nurse Practitioner program.
- Public Health Degree (Master’s) – geared towards the nurse looking to get into management.
- Occupational Health Degree (Master’s) – A generic advanced degree program that covers more ground with less depth. Perfect for the nurse who aspires to do research-oriented work.
- “On the job” training – Armed with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, once can find an entry-level job to fulfill experience prerequisites. However, reaching the upper echelons of management is unlikely without a Master’s degree.
The most common requirement for the potential Environmental Health Nurse is a (COHN) certification. COHN stands for certified occupational health nurses, and you must be a registered nurse with at least 4,000 logged work hours to qualify. Continuing education requisites also exist.
Various sources have reported the number of environmental nursing jobs is poised to increase over the coming years. This makes the decision of becoming an occupational nurse specializing in environmental a secure decision as well as potentially rewarding.