Occupational Health Nurse Certification and Training Programs

Occupational health nurses strive to make workplaces safer for employees. Training in this specialization usually happens at the graduate level, though some undergraduate programs also exist. To gain certification as an occupational health nurse, you'll need to hold a registered nurse license and meet educational and work experience requirements. Review the certification process here, and learn more about what occupational health nurses do. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Occupational Health Nurse?

An occupational health nurse (OHN) is a registered nurse (RN) who monitors workers and analyzes work environments to contain and reduce occupational hazards that could affect workers' health. These nurses also might care for workers who are ill or injured as the result of a workplace accident or personal exposure.

Key SkillsMonitor workers and analyze work environments, contain and reduce occupational hazards, care for workers that are ill or injured as a result of workplace accidents
Required EducationMaster of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Master of Public Health (MPH)
Common CoursesHealth and behavior science, policy and management, regulatory compliance, biostatistics, program planning
Professional CertificationCertified Occupational Health Nurse (COHN) or COHN-Specialist (COHN-S), both offered by American Board for Occupational Health Nurses, Inc. (ABOHN)

What Training Would I Need?

Education specific to occupational health nursing typically is offered on the graduate level through Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Master of Public Health (MPH) programs, although undergraduate certificate programs also are available. Admission to a master's program usually requires a bachelor's degree in nursing and an RN license. You also might need 2-3 years of work experience.

Courses you might encounter in an MSN or MPH program in occupational health nursing include health and behavior science, policy and management, regulatory compliance, biostatistics, program planning, epidemiology, toxicology, ergonomics and industrial hygiene. You'll generally have to complete one or more practicums, field experiences or internships, and you might be required to complete a thesis.

These programs often are designed for working professionals and can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. Online programs in occupational health nursing are available; however, you'll likely have to attend some on-campus sessions or meetings, in addition to meeting practicum or internship requirements.

You also can find Ph.D. in Occupational Health Nursing programs. You might want to pursue a doctorate if your aim is to teach or conduct research at a university.

What Are the Certification Requirements?

The American Board for Occupational Health Nurses, Inc. (ABOHN) offers voluntary certification for occupational health nurses. To qualify for the Certified Occupational Health Nurse (COHN) designation, you must be an RN with at least 3,000 hours of occupational health nursing experience over the past five years (www.abohn.org). In lieu of experience, you could complete an OHN certificate program.

To be eligible for ABOHN's COHN-Specialist (COHN-S) designation, you'll need to be an RN with at least a bachelor's degree in nursing. You also must meet one of the following requirements: 3,000 hours of experience, completion of an OHN certificate program or completion of a graduate degree program in occupational health nursing.

Both certifications also require passage of an exam. The COHN examination focuses on direct clinical care, while the COHN-S exam also tests your knowledge of case management, consultation, education and general management.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • George Mason University

    George Mason University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at George Mason University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • American University

    American University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Technical University

    Colorado Technical University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Technical University:

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »