Any Occupational Health RNs here?


Hello! I've been working as a med/surg nurse for the past two years and I've been interested in the field of occupational health... part of me doesn't feel like bedside nursing is quite where my niche is so I'm thinking of making the switch. However, I hardly know anything about the field aside from a few job descriptions on COHNA's website. Was wondering if there's any OHN on the forum who can help me answer a few questions?

1. How did you guys get into the field? I've looked at a few online programs (Macewan etc), and they didn't really list many prereqs aside from having an active registration etc. As someone with experiences only in general med/surg, would I be able to sign up for them without too many challenges? Is it necessary to become certified??

2. Where do you work? Once again, online job research informed me that most of the jobs seem to be in industrial places (oil company, grocery chain etc). Is that accurate?

3. Unionized or not? This is kind of a sensitive topic and forgive me if I ask... Are you unionized? If not, what is the hourly wage in comparison to an unionized RN? and benefits/holidays etc?

4. Hours of work? Do you mostly work day shifts? Any on-call shifts? are most positions full-time? I'm under the impression that only day shifts are offered and this definitely means a better lifestyle for me as I'm getting very exhausted of rotating shifts at work...

5. Keeping up the competencies? I understand OHNuring must entail a different skill set compared to med/surg ... how do you keep up your practice? I guess I'm more concerned with this in the case that I ever want to come back to floor nursing, would I be not qualified due to the loss of key skills?

Sorry I've bombarded you with lots of questions! Feel free to PM me if you'd like!

Thank you!!!!