So, I currently work as an occ. health nurse for a large manufacturing facility. Been in the position just over 2 months. My previous nursing background was in Progressive Care for 2 years, and an OR circulator for just under a year. Prior to that I worked in physical therapy and rehab for close to 5 years. I was hoping to get an opinion on possibly sitting for the Emergency Nurse certification (CEN). I do see my share of lacerations, burns and other assorted first aid type injuries. Having come into the OHN role without previous ER experience, do you think this would benefit me? It will be some time until I am able to sit for my COHN, so I was looking to add some additional education to my role. Plus, would this be a desirable certification to have for future OHN roles? Thanks in advance.
Mar 18, '12
I don't think the CEN would help you for future OHN roles but would be beneficial if you plan on being an ER nurse later in life. While several Occ Health job ads have said that they want a nurse with ER experience, I've never seen an ad that asked for CEN certification. The ads usually ask that the nurse have COHN or COHN-S certification along with Audiometry and Spirometry certifications and sometimes Case Management certifiation (CCM or COHN-S/CM). If I were you, I'd spend my money on getting those certifications instead of the CEN if you want to stay in Occ Health.
Mar 21, '12
I agree with prior post, that COHN is a must-have and in many positions, the spiro/fit-test/audio training and certificates are a must-have/must-get-upon-hiring.
Coming from the ER, I looked at CEN before going into occ health. Iin an occ health job, the vast majority of CEN will useless. It is mostly about handling emergencies in an ER, using ER equipment and ER meds.
Mar 23, '12
Thank you for the valuable feedback. I will be obtaining my hearing conservation certification in May. The spirometry cert will follow soon after. The COHN is definitely on my list, but I am still atleast a year out from being able to apply for that.
May 3, '12
Congratulations on joining the OHN ranks! In addition to the great advise already given, you may also consider taking some occupational certificate program courses. For example, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has one that you can do online and is most helpful. These courses also help you prepare for the COHN exam. Good Luck!
May 8, '12
I will look in to UNC Chapel Hill. I believe Bonnie Rogers may have some affiliation? I have a couple of books Occupational Health Nursing Guidelines that she authored. Always looking for ways to expand my OHN knowledge base.
May 31, '12
I looked at the UNC Chapel Hill site and didn't see an 'online' option. Anyone have a link?
May 31, '12
Here is the link for info on the Master's programs and the certificate program:
Occupational health nursing degree program
If you scroll to the bottom, the information regarding the certificate is there along with the link to the certificate site with more detailed information. It looks like there is a one-week on campus requirement for one of the classes but the rest can be completed online.
Aug 1, '12
Yes UNC program is very good..I was in the first class 2007 amd completed 2008. All done onlone except the first weel on campus which was jammed packed but fun