Question for OHNPs

  1. Hi,

    I will be graduating from my NP program in June as an ANP with a concentration in Occupational Health. I have been given the opportunity to work as an OH RN in disaster preparedness after graduating in an 18 month position. The NP jobs in my area (SF Bay Area) tend to be a bit scarce and actually don't pay that well for starting NPs. I plan to take the short term position as the OH RN. I feel it's an opportunity I can't pass up (and it pays better than new grad NPs)

    My only fear regarding taking this position is that I will forget some of the NP skills (predominately PE skills) I have just spent 2 years learning. Does anyone know of any NP refresher courses available? I know there are plenty of RN re-entry programs for those wanting to get back into the hospital I just wonder if there is something similar for NPs.

    Thanks

    Beth
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Aggiew
    Beth,

    I would not worry about losing the skills. If every you decide to do another type of nursing, they will come back to you. I have worked in Occupational Health for 6 years after working home health and labor and delivery. I absolutely love it and I never plan to do anything but this. My next step is becoming certified (COHN) if I can pass the exam. Is there anyone out there who has recently taken this exam and can give some pointers on what to study?

    Aggie
  4. by   hcmanp
    I am an NP considering making a career change to OHN. Any insights into life as an OHN, and what makes a company desire the NP as opposed to an RN? Thanks.
  5. by   Aggiew
    Quote from hcmanp
    I am an NP considering making a career change to OHN. Any insights into life as an OHN, and what makes a company desire the NP as opposed to an RN? Thanks.

    Nurse Practitioners are often wanted in Occupational Health because of the prescriptive authority and being able to work much more independently.
    I often take our injured workers to our ER to see our NP because they need Flexeril or to have an x-ray ordered etc... and I cannot do that as an RN.
    Good luck with your career change and if you are interested in jobs available, go to the AAOHN website, look under member services then career resources then click on view jobs. From here pull down Occupational Health NP and it will show you all NP OHN jobs available. This is a great overall site to help get certification. Also with O.H. there is a need to know OSHA regulations, worker's compensation etc...
    AggieW
  6. by   hcmanp
    Quote from Aggiew
    Nurse Practitioners are often wanted in Occupational Health because of the prescriptive authority and being able to work much more independently.
    I often take our injured workers to our ER to see our NP because they need Flexeril or to have an x-ray ordered etc... and I cannot do that as an RN.
    Good luck with your career change and if you are interested in jobs available, go to the AAOHN website, look under member services then career resources then click on view jobs. From here pull down Occupational Health NP and it will show you all NP OHN jobs available. This is a great overall site to help get certification. Also with O.H. there is a need to know OSHA regulations, worker's compensation etc...
    AggieW
    I guess the only way to know what a job is going to entail is to go and interview! But I was worried that I might lose some of my NP skills in assessment, and forget what/how to prescribe appropriately. It's good to see that your company supports the role of NP in providing primary health care. I posted a thread elsewhere asking what ohns likes and dislikes about the job are. Any insights there?
  7. by   Aggiew
    Quote from hcmanp
    I guess the only way to know what a job is going to entail is to go and interview! But I was worried that I might lose some of my NP skills in assessment, and forget what/how to prescribe appropriately. It's good to see that your company supports the role of NP in providing primary health care. I posted a thread elsewhere asking what ohns likes and dislikes about the job are. Any insights there?

    Actually, I can say there is not much I dislike about my job. I am very involved in workers comp. when injured workers are off. I guess that can be a bit frustrating at times when employees milk the system and try to stay off as long as possible when they could actually return to work. Most are legitimate injuries but, with 1,300 employees, there will always be some who like staying home and drawing workers comp.
    There is a lot of paperwork and I do wish I had more time to learn more about the OSHA guidelines etc... but I do feel like I know the basics and the most important healthcare OSHA requirements.
    I really love working with the employees and help them in more ways than just physical healthcare. Some come with family problems and just want to talk. Others do not like their job and I try to help them find something else. I just really feel like they are my second family. I work under the H.R. Director of our hospital and she is great. My job is pretty autonomous and I like that as well. I love not being on call and not taking work home. I use to supervise and was pretty much on call 24/7. I can honestly say, the time clock is my friend. I would like to have more time to do preventative classes such as smoking cessation classes and other preventative issues but I stay pretty busy. I like my job so much, I drive one hour each way just so I can work where I do. I hope you like your change as much. Will it be in hospital or general industry occupational health?
  8. by   hcmanp
    Quote from Aggiew
    Actually, I can say there is not much I dislike about my job. I am very involved in workers comp. when injured workers are off. I guess that can be a bit frustrating at times when employees milk the system and try to stay off as long as possible when they could actually return to work. Most are legitimate injuries but, with 1,300 employees, there will always be some who like staying home and drawing workers comp.
    There is a lot of paperwork and I do wish I had more time to learn more about the OSHA guidelines etc... but I do feel like I know the basics and the most important healthcare OSHA requirements.
    I really love working with the employees and help them in more ways than just physical healthcare. Some come with family problems and just want to talk. Others do not like their job and I try to help them find something else. I just really feel like they are my second family. I work under the H.R. Director of our hospital and she is great. My job is pretty autonomous and I like that as well. I love not being on call and not taking work home. I use to supervise and was pretty much on call 24/7. I can honestly say, the time clock is my friend. I would like to have more time to do preventative classes such as smoking cessation classes and other preventative issues but I stay pretty busy. I like my job so much, I drive one hour each way just so I can work where I do. I hope you like your change as much. Will it be in hospital or general industry occupational health?
    I am looking into industry, and it's for an NP, so I will be interested to see if it will allow me to still practice enough to maintain my certification - I wouldn't want to take that exam again!
    The job description seemed consistent with what you are describing including patient care, preventative ed and OSHA/workmen's comp stuff. I hope I get to the interview at least!
  9. by   sikat
    Quote from hcmanp
    I am an NP considering making a career change to OHN. Any insights into life as an OHN, and what makes a company desire the NP as opposed to an RN? Thanks.
    Hi!, Ive been an RN and shifted to OHN and untill now i worked as an OHN in a canstruction site. It was a great help to have experienced a hospital setting before going into OHN. Some company would prefer a licensed nurse and has a hospital experience at least for 2 years and when your accepted you have to undergo trainings like CPR and basic life support , but sometimes it depend upon the company if your an NP and has a RED CROSS ID as certified First Aider and has a lot of seminars related to OHN surely you would be accepted. Try it out and you'll surely enjoy the experience .
  10. by   TMPaul
    Quote from Aggiew
    Nurse Practitioners are often wanted in Occupational Health because of the prescriptive authority and being able to work much more independently.
    I often take our injured workers to our ER to see our NP because they need Flexeril or to have an x-ray ordered etc... and I cannot do that as an RN.
    Good luck with your career change and if you are interested in jobs available, go to the AAOHN website, look under member services then career resources then click on view jobs. From here pull down Occupational Health NP and it will show you all NP OHN jobs available. This is a great overall site to help get certification. Also with O.H. there is a need to know OSHA regulations, worker's compensation etc...
    AggieW
    I'm an OH NP. Fell free to ask me anything.
    Tina, RN, APRN-BC
  11. by   Aggiew
    Quote from TMPaul
    I'm an OH NP. Fell free to ask me anything.
    Tina, RN, APRN-BC


    May I ask if you set for the COHN or COHN-S and if so, was it difficult.
    Which one would be best to sit for?


  12. by   sikat
    Quote from Aggiew
    May I ask if you set for the COHN or COHN-S and if so, was it difficult.
    Which one would be best to sit for?


    Hi Aggiew! What is COHN-S? As far as I know you can be A Certified Occupational Health Nurse after practicing OHN for 5 years at least and has attended equivalent hours of trainings & seminars and attended school to be a COHN ( graduate school). This is a Philippine setting , I did get infor coz' i intend to pursue my plan to be a COHN since im on my way to my 3rd year as OHNP. Though attending school is impossible right now since my work is full time but i have plans.
  13. by   Aggiew
    Quote from sikat
    Hi Aggiew! What is COHN-S? As far as I know you can be A Certified Occupational Health Nurse after practicing OHN for 5 years at least and has attended equivalent hours of trainings & seminars and attended school to be a COHN ( graduate school). This is a Philippine setting , I did get infor coz' i intend to pursue my plan to be a COHN since im on my way to my 3rd year as OHNP. Though attending school is impossible right now since my work is full time but i have plans.
    Sikat,

    That is the written certification for occupational health nursing.
    I think the COHN-S is more for occupational health nurses who do more paperwork than clinical. You still have to meet certain reuirements before sitting for this test which is what I plan to do. You can go to the ABOHN website and learn about the COHN and COHN-S.
  14. by   hcmanp
    Quote from TMPaul
    I'm an OH NP. Fell free to ask me anything.
    Tina, RN, APRN-BC
    I just got done with the interview, and I must say it didn't grab me out of the sky and make me holler Eureka!
    I have been working in private practice for the past 3 years, and this is so very different from what I have done, I am not sure what to think. I think this department has 4 nurses on staff daily and an MD 3 days per week. It sounds like they want an NP to cover the days the doc is not there, but want the np to revert to rn on the days the doc is on site. My concern is that the job will be more "nursey" than "practitionery", if you know what I mean.
    I am also concerned because this is the first NP position they have ever had, and during the interview, I had to inform them about the state NP act, and how their plans would need to be modified to meet current legislation. They did not even seem to know what a collaborative practice was.

    How does it work where you are?

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