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Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner Programs – 2021


Have you wondered what it would be like to choose from multiple career options in health services administration, research, clinical practice, or higher education? Does the idea of promoting health, wellness, and safety for employers and employees to maximize health and productivity while decreasing injury and illness interest you? If you answered yes, an occupational health nurse practitioner program is the perfect way to pursue this role and boost your career. Although occupational health nursing is nothing new, the recognition that occupational health nurse practitioner programs now receive is, without a doubt, well-deserved, as these programs prepare advanced practice registered nurses for vital roles within the nursing industry. As you continue reading, you will find information about five of the popular occupational health nurse practitioner programs for 2021, including what it takes to become a student, the content you will learn, and what you can expect from your career after graduation.


What Is the Goal of an Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner Program?


The primary goal of occupational health nurse practitioner programs is to develop advanced practice nurses with extensive knowledge of occupational safety and health information and prepare them to perform with high levels of professional competence in the context of workplace health. These programs teach students to use logic and reason while applying multidisciplinary theories which focus on public health, management, behavioral, nursing, and organizational matters. Graduates of occupational health NP programs can assess, diagnose, manage, plan, and implement the care of workers and community members from diverse backgrounds.


Top 5 Benefits of Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner Programs


It is natural for anyone considering earning a new degree or specialization to want to know how they can benefit from the program and what possible long-term outcomes can be. Here are five top benefits of choosing occupational health nurse practitioner programs to help you achieve the goal of becoming an occupational NP.

1. The opportunity for competitive salary offers:

According to data from PayScale.com, Occupational Health Nurse Practitioners earn an average of $97,750 a year. With experience, and other factors such as job or setting, some graduates of occupational health nurse practitioner programs earn as much as $150,000 or more yearly.

2. Less stressful work environment:

Depending on the setting where an occupational NP works, daily responsibilities vary. Overall, occupational health nurse practitioner jobs are considered among the least stressful NP jobs because they focus on minor injuries, preventive measures, and health recommendations.

3. The chance to develop rewarding collaborations with other healthcare professionals:

As an occupational health nurse practitioner, you will be responsible for assuring the confidentiality of personal health information, using employee health recordkeeping systems, and implementing policies and procedures related to employee health and privacy. To be successful in this role, working with other members of the healthcare team is crucial. Not to mention, the relationships you build as you work closely with your peers can be quite rewarding.

4. Job satisfaction for occupational health nurse practitioners is high.

According to US News & World Report, nurse practitioner jobs are ranked as the third-best in the United States. Among nurse practitioners who specialize in occupational health, the overall satisfaction rating for their career choice is 8.3 out of 10.

5. Opportunities to Advance Your Career:

To maintain regulatory compliance with the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration, industries must implement workplace safety and wellness plans. Occupational health nurse practitioner programs prepare well-qualified occupational health NPs capable of developing and administering budgets and implementing safety and health protocols, which means you could take advantage of these opportunities to advance your career.


How Long Are Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner Programs?


Occupational health nurse practitioner programs can take as little as two semesters to up to four years to complete. Post-masters and post-graduate certificate programs are shorter, while MSN and BSN to DNP programs take much longer. The following paragraphs explain how long it takes to complete some of the popular programs featured in this article.

The

University of California at Los Angeles

(UCLA) offers two options to earn a nurse practitioner degree with a focus in Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing. Applicants can choose from the MSN-Family Nurse Practitioner or MSN-Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner with Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing specialization, both of which are designed in a format that can be completed in as little as two years.

Students who attend the

University of Michigan

can choose from master's or Post-Baccalaureate DNP programs with specialization as an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner or a Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner. MSN program plans are formatted in two- and three-year study plans. Post-Baccalaureate DNP plans are designed to be completed in three or four years. The Occupational Health Nursing concentration adds two to three semesters of coursework to the student's academic plan.

The

University of California at San Francisco

offers two occupational health NP programs: the MSN-Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner -Occupational/Environmental Health and the Post-Master's Certificate in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner -Occupational/Environmental Health. The MSN program takes two to three years to complete, and the post-master's certificate can be earned in four to eight semester quarters.

Students at the

University of Washington

can complete a Post-Graduate Certificate in Advanced Practice Environmental and Occupational Health in three semesters.

Additionally, the last of our featured occupational health NP programs is offered at The

University of South Florida

. This BSN to DNP Occupational Health/Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner can be completed in as few as thirty-six months.


How Much Do Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner Programs Cost?


Below are some examples of tuition costs for some of the popular occupational health NP programs featured in this article.

The

University of South Florida:

$431.43 per credit hour for Florida residents and $877.17 for non-residents. The program, which includes seventy-five credit hours, has an average tuition rate of $32,357.25 to $65,787.75, depending on residency status.

Tuition rates for the occupational health nurse practitioner programs at the

University of Michigan

are calculated on a per-credit-hour rate and differ for in-state and out-of-state students. Michigan residents pay $1,738 per credit hour, and non-residents pay $3,160. The university offers four pathways to become an Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner. The cost of each option is shown in the table below.

Academic PathwayTotal Credits Needed
(Includes Occupational Health Nursing Courses)
In-State Tuition TotalOut-of-State Tuition Total
PC- FNP(MSN)70$121.660$221,200
A-G PCNP (MSN)64$111,232$202,240
PC-FNP (DNP)93$161,634$298,880
A-G PCNP (DNP)88$152,944$278,080

The University of California at San Francisco costs $10,585 per semester for in-state students and $14,667 for non-residents. The Master of Science with Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Occupational/Environmental Health is a seven-semester program. Therefore, tuition ranges from $74,096 to $102,669.

Quarterly tuition rates at the

University of Washington

are $9,736 for residents and $13,869 for non-residents. The certificate is typically earned in three quarters, making the average cost between $29,208 and $41,607.


What Is the Curriculum Like?


Curriculum may vary somewhat among occupational health NP programs. However, core course requirements and specialty courses are often consistent from one program to the next. A few examples include the following.

◦ Epidemiology for Advanced Nursing
◦ Fundamentals of Statistics for Clinicians
◦ Practice Management, Quality Improvement, and Patient Safety
◦ Advanced Health Assessment Across the Lifespan
◦ Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology


A few examples of coursework required at our featured occupational health NP programs follow below.

The BSN to DNP Occupational Health/Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program at the

University of South Florida

follows a course sequence and standard plan for part-time or full-time enrollment. Objectives for the program are based upon essential curriculum element recommendations defined by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The program requires students to complete at least seventy-five credit hours to graduate. Credit hours are earned through shared core requirements, specialty concentration classes, practice management, clinical practicum, and a doctoral project. DNP students must complete at least 1,000 post-baccalaureate preceptor-supervised clinical hours to graduate from the program.

Sample Courses Include the Following:

◦ Occupational Health Nursing I and II
◦ Principles of Occupational Safety
◦ Industrial Hygiene Aspects of Plant Operations
◦ Occupational Medicine for Health Professionals occupational health nurse practitioner programs

MSN students at the

University of California at Los Angeles

can elect an Occupational and Environmental Health with a focus on Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner. The Family Nurse Practitioner option includes a minimum of seventy-nine units of credit and 720 clinical hours. The Adult-Gerontology PCNP option requires students to complete at least eighty-four units of credit.

FNP Specialty Courses:

◦ Family Healthcare Perspectives
◦ Childhood Development: Research and Application to Nursing
◦ Meeting Health-Related Needs in Underserved Populations

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Courses:

◦ Adult/Gerontology Primary Healthcare for Advanced Practice Nurses I, II, and III
◦ Human Responses to Aging and Chronic Illness

Both program options include the following classes:

◦ Health Promotion and Assessment Across the Lifespan
◦ Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nurses
◦ Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice Nurses
◦ Research Design and Critique
◦ Interdisciplinary Occupational Health Practice
◦ Occupational Safety and Ergonomics

The required coursework for students in the occupational health NP programs at the

University of Michigan

varies somewhat, depending on whether the student is enrolled in the MSN or Post-baccalaureate DNP program. The table below shows the number of credits each program requires and the additional credits necessary to add the occupational health nursing concentration.

Program PlanDegree EarnedNumber of Credits
Family Nurse PractitionerMSN55
Adult-Gerontology-PCNPMSN49
Family Nurse PractitionerDNP78
Adult-Gerontology-PCNPDNP73
Occupational Health NursingMSN or DNP15

The Occupational Health Nursing concentration is offered to students enrolled in the Adult-Gerontology PCNP MSN or Post-Baccalaureate DNP and Primary Care FNP MSN or Post-Baccalaureate DNP programs. Additional credit hours include public health courses and interdisciplinary occupational health courses as follows.

◦ Occupational and Environmental Diseases
◦ Exposure Science and Health
◦ Occupational Ergonomics
◦ Responsible Conduct of Research
◦ Occupational Safety or Occupational Safety for Nurses

The

University of California at San Francisco

offers an MSN program and a Post-master's Certificate option to obtain the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner-Occupational/Environmental Health (AGPCNP-OEH). The MSN pathway includes 77 credit hours of coursework and at least five hundred clinical practice hours. All students enrolled in the Occupational/Environmental Health Nursing programs at the University of California at San Francisco take courses focused on the following.

◦ Research in Environmental and Occupational Health
◦ Program Planning
◦ Health and Safety Hazard Assessment
◦ Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Occupational Health Problems
◦ Regulatory Compliance Systems
◦ Emergency Response Teams
◦ International Travel
◦ Disease Prevention

At the

University of Washington

, prospective students can earn a Post-Graduate Certificate in Advanced Practice Environmental and Occupational Health. The certificate program requires at least fifteen credits. Students must take at least one class from both the Nursing Science and Public Health Science categories of coursework.

Sample Coursework Includes the Following:

◦ Prevention Issues in Community Health
◦ Collaborating for Health Equity
◦ Global Environmental and Occupational Health
◦ Fundamentals of Toxicology
◦ Children’s Environmental Health


What Are the Admission Requirements?


Admission criteria for occupational health nurse practitioner programs are determined by the institution where the program is offered. An applicant's current degree level is the most important factor when determining which program is best suited for them. The standard minimum admission requirements for these programs include the following.

◦ Minimum Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from an accredited institution
◦ Current, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse
◦ Submit official transcripts from all post-secondary schools
◦ Submit resume and/or curriculum vitae


The following paragraphs provide examples of admission requirements for some of the popular programs mentioned in this article.

The

University of South Florida's

Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner program requires applicants to meet English proficiency and university admission requirements, as well as admission criteria for the specialty program.

◦ Submit three letters of recommendation indicating the applicant’s potential for success in graduate study. Nursing faculty or clinical supervisors are the preferred source of these letters.
◦ Prepare a Personal Goal Statement
◦ Provide professional resume or curriculum vitae
◦ Minimum “B” average on all undergraduate nursing coursework
◦ occupational health nurse practitioner programs

Admission criteria for the occupational health NP programs at the

University of California at Los Angeles

include the following.

◦ Graduation from an accredited baccalaureate nursing program with a minimum 3.0-grade point average on a 4.0 scale
◦ Must complete an upper-division introductory or equivalent biostatistics course (Click here for Approved Statistics Courses)
◦ Proof of English Proficiency

The

University of Michigan

offers master's and Post-Baccalaureate DNP options for applicants who wish to pursue one of its Occupational Health NP programs. Program options include Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner or Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner with a focus on occupational health nursing.

Both MSN and Post-baccalaureate DNP Applicants

must meet the following criteria.

◦ Have earned or should be in the process of completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from an AACN, NLN, or CCNE-accredited institution. Students currently pursuing a BSN must complete the program before the start date of the desired admission term for the MSN program.
◦ Have a minimum “B” average in all undergraduate coursework, including BSN coursework, is required.
◦ After a completed application is submitted and reviewed by the admissions committee, applicants must complete a video assessment to assess the applicant's fit for the program.



BELOW ARE THE 5 MOST POPULAR OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH NURSE PRACTITIONER PROGRAMS FOR 2021

(The following Certificates and Degree Programs are ideal for individuals who aspire to become an Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner.)

1. University of South Florida - Tampa, FL


Program Type:

BSN to DNP (Occupational Health/Adult-Gerontology Primary Care)


2. University of California Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA


Program Type:

MSN-FNP (With a Focus in Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing) and MSN-AGPCNP (With a Focus in Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing)


3. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI


Program Type:

Occupational Health Nursing Concentration - AGPCNP (MSN or Post-Baccalaureate DNP) and Occupational Health Nursing Concentration - Primary Care FNP (MSN or Post-Baccalaureate DNP)


4. University of California San Francisco - San Francisco, CA


Program Type:

MSN (Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner -Occupational/Environmental Health (AGPCNP-OEH)) and Post-Master’s Certificate (Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner -Occupational/Environmental Health (AGPCNP-OEH))


5. University of Washington - Seattle, WA


Program Type:

Graduate Certificate (Advanced Practice Environmental and Occupational Health (APEOH))




What Kinds of Career Opportunities Exist for Occupational Health Nurse Practitioners?


Graduates of occupational health nurse practitioner programs can choose from diverse career opportunities and employment settings. Occupational NPs may work in hospitals, medical clinics, production and manufacturing departments, and government agencies.


Average Salary for Occupational Health Nurse Practitioners


The average annual income for graduates of occupational health nurse practitioner programs is $97,750. Some factors contributing to possible income opportunities include the amount of experience an applicant has in the field, the cost of living where the job is located, and the risk associated with the position. As previously mentioned, with experience, some occupational health nurse practitioners earn $150,000 or more yearly. Additionally, when you consider the monetary value associated with benefits packages offered by many employers, salary opportunities can be significant.

Per Hour$47.00
Per Month$8,150
Per Year$97,750
(Source: Payscale.Com)


Job Outlook for Occupational Health Nurse Practitioners


Occupational health nurse practitioners play a vital role in working with employers and employees to identify safety and health needs within the workplace. From promoting an interdisciplinary approach to healthcare and advocating for employee rights, educating and encouraging workers to take an active role in their personal health, and coordinating the delivery of programs and services, the responsibilities of occupational health NPs are vast. These are just a few reasons the job outlook for graduates of occupational health nurse practitioner programs is favorable.


Conclusion


The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses describes the role of an occupational health nurse practitioner as someone who “focuses on promotion and restoration of health, prevention of illness and injury, and protection from work-related and environmental hazards.” Colleges and universities that offer programs like the popular occupational health nurse practitioner programs for 2021 featured in this article are an excellent resource for continuing your education and gaining the knowledge and experience needed to fill this sought-after, highly regarded position in the nursing industry.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


How do I become certified after completing any of the occupational health nurse practitioner programs?

Most institutions that offer occupational health NP programs assist graduates with scheduling the certification examination. Be sure to ask the school where you plan to enroll to be sure whether they help or require graduates to register independently. The American Board of Occupational Health Nurses is the only provider of specialty certification for occupational and environmental health nursing in the United States. The ABOHN is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.

Should I get an MSN or DNP with Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner specialization?

While the decision to pursue an MSN or DNP is personal, it is important to note that the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) published a position statement in 2019 that said it has “made the commitment to move all entry-level nurse practitioner education to the DNP degree by 2025.” Keep in mind the amount of time it will take to complete the program you prefer. If it will take three or more years, it may be in your best interest to choose an Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner DNP program so that you are not caught in the middle of the transition period.



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