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Want to get into Occup. Health & NO luck!!

Specializes in Med/Surg.

Hi all experienced occupational health nurses..hoping you can help me out here... I am SO frustrated! I decided a few months ago I would really like to work in either occupational health or an immediate/urgent care setting. In the past 2 months, I have applied for 8 jobs with NO luck. Not even one interview!! I think I have a lot to offer. I have been an RN for 6 months, LPN for 2 1/2 years before then, all of that time I worked in a hospital's medical/surgical unit, and also worked a seasonal flu shot clinic nurse position for the past 2 years in a row. So technically I have about 3 years in med/surg. I am BCLS (CPR) certified, and PPD certified. Also during my ASN program, I completed a 96 hr. practicum in an outpatient medical/surgical weight loss clinic. I currently have an ASN, but am a current RN-BSN student and will graduate with my BSN May 2007. I have excellent references. I have an active license with absolutely no history of any discipline against it, and have never been written up, in trouble, terminated, etc.. I have no clue why I am having no luck getting a job in this area. Can someone please tell me some tips on how you got your job in this area or give me any advice? I am SOOO tired of med/surg, and really want to make a move out of it, but am trying to be patient so that I get into a good job that I will enjoy more. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Kacy, RN


I would say that you certainly have a plan. If you want some advice here is some.....

Get at least 1 year RN Med Surg, Transfer to a ER get a few years in as an ER nurse and then use your training and knowledge to apply. I know it sounds like you want it now but I think you need to continue to get more Work comp experience.

Congratulations for deciding what you want and going for it.


Re Occ Health Nursing

have you taken any specific course for Occ Health?

you are currently working on studies and will not have time to take a full course in occ health and safety

employers will be looking for some sign of experience or education/training on your resume.

if you have time take some basic workshops on health and safety, safety and the law, accident investigation- join your Joint Health and Safety Committee or volunteer to help with health and safety programs. Get your first aid certificate even though you are an RN- OSHA expects OHN's/first aiders to give prompt first aid. It is different than ER triaging.

Basic 1 or 2 day workshops on occupational hearing loss, environmental issues, ergonomics, teaching adults (likely do that already in BSN course si?)

The more short courses you can do- even through local community colleges will make an employer needing an OHN sit up and look at you more seriously.

have you checked at OH association websites?

http://www.bcit.ca/study/programs/680hascert that takes you to some links

are you interested in hospital or industry?

I am from Ontario, Canada and have been most fortunate in my experience with Occ Health- when I started back in 1981 I was the youngest employee health nurse that I knew- it seemed that everyone I met in Occ Health was close to retirement age! Occ Health nursing can be exciting and challenging. Unfortunately it use to be one of the first services cut when budgets got bad. Smart employers support the occ health services for their greatest resource- their employees. Occ Health Associations have grown greatly in promoting the profession over the past two decades.

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