AAOHN Publishes Revised Competencies for Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing

Pensacola, Fla. (October 26, 2015) - The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN), Inc. has published revised Competencies in Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing.

Last updated in 2007, the newly revised competencies are published in the November 2015 issue of Workplace Health & Safety, the official publication of AAOHN, published by Sage Publications.

Along with the Code of Ethics and Interpretive Statements, the Standards of Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing, and the Fundamentals of Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing, AAOHN Core Curriculum, 4th Edition, these Competencies in Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing provide the basis for scope of practice, knowledge, skills, and the legal and ethical framework in occupational and environmental health nursing. The assumption is predicated on the fact that the nurse is competent in general nursing because the individual is a licensed registered nurse and has appropriate education for the specialty.

“It is incumbent upon any professional nursing specialty to create competencies required for their practice and to make revisions based on changes taking place in the profession and the community, including around the globe,” said AAOHN Executive Director Kay Campbell, EdD, RN-C, COHN-S, FAAOHN. “The goal of the Association is to maintain contemporary practice standards and competencies at all times and this revision reflects adjustments to simplify and clarify the competencies for practice today and in the near future.”

Eileen Lukes, PhD, RN, COHN-S, CCM, FAAOHN, served as chair of the task force responsible for authoring the revised competencies on behalf of AAOHN. “A highly qualified group of 14 occupational and environmental health nurses with diverse backgrounds, workplace settings and educational levels formed a task force that worked for 15 months to revise the competencies,” Lukes said. “Then 28 equally qualified and varied occupational and environmental health nurses reviewed, commented and made recommendations during a modified Delphi process. The competencies have been fully vetted.”

These competencies are guidelines applicable to occupational and environmental health nurses who assume a variety of practice roles. “The competencies address the continuum of practice experiences,” said AAOHN President Jeannie Tomlinson, MSN, RN, COHN-S, FAAOHN. “They support the evolving of an RN or an APRN’s occupational health career. They can be used by the profession, employers and individual nurses as a baseline for certification, performance evaluations, and developmental plans.”

Available online at aaohn.org, the competencies also are available publicly via the online edition of Workplace Health & Safety, November 2015 issue.

The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) is a 4,500 member professional association dedicated to advancing the health, safety, and productivity of domestic and global workforces by providing education, research, public policy, and practice resources for occupational and environmental health nurses throughout the United States and the world. These professionals are the largest group of health care providers serving the worksite. AAOHN is comprised of chapter organizations that are incorporated agencies under their state regulations. For more information, visit www.aaohn.org.

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