Practice Standards, Statements and References

The Code of Ethics and Interpretive Statements, the Standards of Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing, Competencies in Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing, and The Fundamentals of Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing, AAOHN Core Curriculum, 4th Edition provide the basis for scope of practice, knowledge, skills, and the legal and ethical framework in occupational and environmental health nursing. There are multiple Position Statements on varying topics that impact occupational and environmental health practice and several texts that guide clinical care in a workplace setting.

AAOHN Position Statements

American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN). (2015). Code of ethics and interpretive statements.

American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN). (2015). Competencies in Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing.

American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN). (2012). Standards of Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing.

Moore, P and Moore, R. (Eds.). (2014). Fundamentals of Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing: AAOHN Core Curriculum. Pensacola, FL: American Association of Occupational Health Nurses.

Rogers, B. (2003). Occupational and environmental health nursing: Concepts and practice (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders.

Rogers, B., Randolph, S. A., & Mastroianni, K. (2003). Occupational health nursing guidelines for primary clinical conditions (3rd ed.). Boston: OEM Press.

Business and Management

Based on the fact that occupational and environmental health nurses work in business settings, even when the setting is healthcare, they need a significant level of business acumen. From an in-depth understanding of benefits planning, to project management, writing business plans, and documenting return on investment, nurses who deliver care to workers need strategic and creative thinking skills. While many of the journals and organizations, included in this guide, contain management information, an addition rudimentary list of resources is noted below.

American Management Association


National Business Group on Health

Society for Human Resources Managers (SHRM)


Dana Drew-Nord. (2014). Establishing an Occupational & Environmental Health & Safety Service. Pensacola, FL: American Association of Occupational Health Nurses.

Shaffer. N. (2015). A Staffing Tool to Determine the Workload & Cost for an Occupational & Environmental Health & Safety Service. Pensacola, FL: American Association of Occupational Health Nurses.

Leone, F. (2012). Marketing Healthcare Services to Employers: Strategies and Tactics. Santa Barbara, CA: Sea Hill Press.

Legislation/Regulations Pertinent to Occupational Health Nursing

As in any setting, the occupational and environmental health nurse relies on the Nurse Practice Act, the law in each state that defines the responsibilities of the nurse and the “scope of practice” – the range of activities and services as well as the qualifications for practice. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing brings together all state boards of nursing. Some other pertinent laws with a brief explanation are listed below.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment.

Department of Labor includes Offices of Labor & Management, Disability Employment, Mine Safety, the Women’s Bureau, the Occupational Health & Safety Administration and much more.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the agency that enforces laws and regulations concerning clean air and water, climate change, toxic substances, waste, land cleanup and emergencies.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) protects the interests of employee benefits plan participants.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual preference, national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.

Family and Medical Leave Act entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage.

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prohibits the use of genetic information in health insurance or employment.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) ensures the security and privacy of health data.

Department of Labor, Occupational Health & Safety Administration, Standards, includes general industry, construction, maritime, record keeping, agriculture, state plans, training and more.

U.S. Congress. (2010). The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Washington D.C.: U.S.
Government Printing Office guides employer-provided medical insurance plans and insurance coverage for and subsidies for lower wage workers.

Workers’ Compensation Laws

Individuals employed by private companies or state and local government agencies and injured on the job are covered by their State Workers' Compensation Board.

The Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) administers four major disability compensation programs for federal workers. Other specific groups are covered by:
Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program
Federal Employees' Compensation Program
Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Program
Black Lung Benefits Program

Below is a sample of peer reviewed journals with both practice/solution-based and research articles that are germane to occupational and environmental health nursing.

American Journal of Health Promotion

American Journal of Industrial Medicine

American Journal of Infection Control

American Journal of Public Health

Applied Ergonomics

Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene

Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (JAANP)

Journal of the Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Journal of Occupational Health Psychology

Professional Case Management: The Leader in Evidence-Based Practice

Safety + Health

Workplace Health and Safety: Promoting Environments Conducive to Well-Being and Productivity

Worksite Health International

Organizations and Agencies

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Healthy People Initiative

Homeland Security

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES)

International Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA)

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH)

National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Safety Council (NSC)

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), including Total Worker Health™ .

Society for Occupational and Environmental Health (SOEH)

World Health Organization (WHO)