Occupational Health Nursing

Occupational health nursing, then called industrial nursing, began in the late 1800s in the northeastern  part of the United States. Betty Moulder worked for a group of coal mining companies in Pennsylvania, and Ada Stuart was employed by the Vermont Marble Company, providing health services for ill and injured workers and their families. Since that time, the scope of practice in occupational and environmental health nursing has greatly expanded with increased emphasis on health promotion and health protection services. Many factors have influenced the evolution of occupational health nursing practice. Among them are the changing population and workforce, the introduction of new chemicals and work processes into the work environment, increased work demands, technological advances and regulatory mandates, increased focus on illness/injury prevention, and a rise in health care costs and workers' compensation claims.

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