How To Start A Career As Nurse In Occupational Health

Many nurses are asking Ayoh about Occupational Health Nursing and what are the needs in order to be an Occupational Health Nurse.

If you were listening carefully during your college days, then you must have probably tackled it during your community health nursing. 😴

Occupational Health Nurses or most commonly known as company nurses are the ones who provide for and deliver health and safety programs and services to workers, worker populations and community groups. They are focused on promotion and restoration of health, prevention of illness and injury, and protection from work-related and environmental hazards.(American Association of Occupational Health Nurses )

Here in the Philippines, occupational health nurses are required to attend Basic Occupational Safety and Health (BOSH) training as mandated by the OSH standard. BOSH trainings are provided by many DOLE accredited organization.

But for nurses, OHNAP (Occupational Health Nurses Association of the Philippines) is the recommended organization of this 40-hour basic course for nurses.

What are the other opportunities as Occupational Health Nurse?

Once you’ve already gathered enough experience in this field, here are the career opportunities that you might consider to level up your career. 💪

1. Certified Occupational Health Nurse (COHN)

According to OHNAP, interested applicants must apply for COHN to the Specialty Board through OHNAP Secretariat on or before December 31 each year with the following requirements:

• Must be a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
• Must have taken the Post-Graduate Course in Occupational Health & Safety for Nurses.
• Must have attended three (3) conventions within five (5) years of active membership
• Must have earned a minimum of sixty (60) contact hours of scientific meetings within five (5) years, 80 % of which must be taken from OHNAP
• Must be active and with continuous membership to OHNAP for five consecutive years upon application
• Must present an updated PRC card
• Must be currently employed as Occupational Health, Safety & Environmental practitioner.
• Must have at least five (5) years experience as an Occupational Health Nurse.
• Must have attended an Advance Course in Occupational Health and Safety for Nurses offered by the Occupational Health Nurses Association of the Philippines (OHNAP), Inc.
• Must have at least 12 credit units towards a Masters Degree in the field of nursing (future plan)

Qualified nurses will submit the required research study and pay the processing and examination fee for the written and oral exam needed to the Specialty Board. Successful applicants will be conferred the title Certified Occupational Health Nurse during the annual Convention of OHNAP.

2. Safety Officer, Occupational Safety and Health Practitioner (OSHP), Occupational Safety and Health Consultant

Unlike COHN, Safety Officer, OSHP and OSH consultant can be a nurse, physician, engineer, dentist or chemist who completed these minimum requirements of the Bureau of Working Conditions (based on the Procedural Guidelines on Accreditation pursuant to D.O. 16, series 2001):

a. Safety Officer 👨‍✈️

• Must complete the prescribed 40-hour Basic Occupational Safety and Health Training Course from DOLE accredited or recognized organizations.
• Must meet the required trainings recommended by the Bureau.

b. Occupational Safety And Health Practitioners (OSHP)

• Nurses must have 3 years of relevant experience in occupational safety and health before they can be accredited as OSH practitioner.
• Must complete the 40-hour Basic Occupational Safety and Health Training course from DOLE accredited or recognized organizations.

c. Occupational Safety and Health Consultants

• Must be an accredited OSHP for 5 years with experience in 2 field of specialization on OSH
• Must have experience in policy formulation and development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of occupational Safety and Health management systems
• Must have completed the 80-hour advanced Occupational Safety and Health Training Course as prescribed by the Bureau.
• Must have earned 480 hours of trainings/seminar or related processes in various fields of occupational safety and health from accredited organization or institutions authorized by law.

In order to be accredited as practitioner and consultant, interested and qualified nurses must accomplish and submit the needed documents and forms to the Bureau of Working Condition (BWC). These documents shall be evaluated and applicants shall be scheduled for interview. The result of the evaluation shall be sent to the applicant within 15 days.

And for those who are asking…

“Maam, considered po ba as experience ang company nurse pag magwork abroad?”
(Maam, is company nursing considered an experience when one applies to work abroad?” )

Definitely yes! 👍But you know what, many companies still need you here in the Philippines. In fact, company nurses, especially those who are directly employed, are very much well compensated that you don’t need to consider working abroad. You can also get the same benefits that the companies provide for their employees. And that is just one of the perks of company nurses!


What’s the next step?

As you are working towards your goal and slaying it every shift duty, we’re also giving you blog and information that could help you be a better version of yourself(as a nurse). As cheesy as it sounds 🧀 but we’re serious in a better office healthcare.

We’ll keep working to make our website simple, transparent and educational. And we’ve got lots of ideas to come!

What else do you think we should be doing to improve office healthcare? We’d love to hear from you on our email! Click here

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