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Got safety duties? Get certification
Occupational health nurses who spend a large part of their workday dealing with safety activities soon can be certified in safety management, to demonstrate competence in the field of safety and promote career development for certified occupational health nurses in an expanded role.
The new certification was announced recently following three years of study and development by the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses (ABOHN) and the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP), and becomes available in 2005. The examination that resulted from the study is designed to test the significant knowledge, skills, and abilities of occ-health nurses with safety responsibilities.
The certification carries the designation of COHN-S/SM or COHN/SM, or if the ABOHN case management credential also is held, COHN/ CM/SM or COHN-S/CM/SM.
ABOHN executive director Mary C. Amann, RN, MS, COHN-S/CM, FAAOHN, says the new certification "will be of great value to occupational health nurses in industries such as health care, manufacturing, and others where they have assumed responsibility for safety due to blending of departments and roles."
The computer-based examination, which consists of 200 multiple-choice questions, will be available starting in April, and will be administered at Thomson Prometric testing centers throughout the United States and internationally. To be eligible for the new certification, the candidate must have a COHN or COHN-S core credential; be in a professional position that includes at least 25% safety activities; have 50 contact hours of safety-related continuing education; and have 1,000 hours of experience in the most recent five years.
A self-assessment test and reference list became available in December. Application for the safety management exam may be made directly to ABOHN, and is available on-line at www.abohn.org after Jan. 31.
ABOHN’s goal in development of this credential is to provide evidence of competency for certified occupational health nurses in a safety role and to promote career opportunities and professional advancement in health and safety, according to Amann. "Occupational health nurses bring a strong health-related perspective to the role of safety management, resulting in a very holistic approach to workplace health and safety," she adds.
The new credential may provide a career path to the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) credential. ABOHN Safety Management specialty credential allows those who apply for and pursue the CSP to achieve a waiver of BCSP’s Safety Fundamentals examination. Applicants for the CSP must meet all other requirements for earning the CSP credential.
CSP is a title or designation awarded by the BCSP to individuals who meet the standards for a safety professional established by BCSP and continue to meet annual renewal and recertification requirements.
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