These days, the job market is more competitive than ever before and it’s important that you take the time needed to find a job that offers you not only good pay and personal satisfaction, but also the chance to enjoy solid job stability and growth. That’s why the health field is still incredibly popular. But many may not want to work in the familiar hospital setting. Luckily, there are many positions throughout the industry available for those interested in a role in the medical world. One such option is becoming an employee health nurse.
Also referred to as an occupational health nurse in some cases, the employee health nurse is able to work in a unique environment while still administering medical care to patients and enjoying all the benefits that the job can offer to them. If you think nursing is right for you but aren’t convinced as to what specific area you should enter, keep reading to learn more about becoming an employee health nurse.
What Is an Employee Health Nurse?
An employee health nurse is a type of registered nurse who specializes in working with workers in an occupational setting. They identify risks and hazards in a company environment, assess health statuses, promote good overall health and well-being, and more. Their primary goal is to improve the health of employees in order to reduce the loss of wages that can come from things like injuries or illnesses.
Potential job duties for an employee health nurse include:
- Identification of work-related risks
- Development of programs that reduce those risks as much as possible
- Development and delivery of educational efforts that boost employee understanding of their health and safety on the job and off
- Managing emergency preparedness and disaster planning for a facility
- Providing emergency care to employees injured or sick on the job
- Connect employees to others in the health field who can help them with their health issues
- Make referrals to employees assistance programs
- Develop programs for wellness such as smoking cessation programs, fitness programs, nutritional counseling, stress management programs and education, and more
- Identify potential sources for disease outbreak and work to reduce the likelihood of those outbreaks occurring.
In short, an employee health nurse is a kind of full time employee who works to keep other employees of a company as healthy and safe as possible. By doing so, they improve productivity and morale in the workplace.
Nature of the Work
An employee health nurse will work in various environments. In general, they work throughout the facility they’re employed in, but do so from their own office or exam room. They will spend time in their office filing reports and analyzing data, as well as examining patients who are dealing with different medical issues. But they’ll also spend time throughout the facility, investigating safety issues, conducting research into workplace exposures and diseases, and more. They will also likely spend some time meeting with superiors as well as attending meetings, conferences, and seminars in order to gain a better understanding of their job.
These professionals will have numerous responsibilities, and work not only as health care providers but as educators and consultants as well.
Education and Training
In order to become an employee health nurse you’ll need to earn at least a Bachelor’s of Nursing degree. This will be followed by earning a Nursing License from the state you reside in and work in. These two steps allow you to practice medicine, and it is optional to continue your education and earn specialized degrees in areas like nursing management. Some employers may have a preference for those who hold specializations, but not all will.
However, on the job experience is highly preferred, so it’s important that you spend some time in the nursing field so you can get a solid foundation of experience on which to build your career.
Those who work as employee health nurses will earn about $63,400 per year on average, and the demand for them is expected to increase by 16 percent over the next decade. The specific pay you receive will depend largely upon things like your experience, your education, your location in the country, and your employer. No matter what, however, it’s a rewarding career opportunity that is well worth considering.