Update on occupational health nursing through 21st century requirements: A three-round Delphi study


Nurse Education Today, vol.120, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 120
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.nedt.2022.105657
  • Journal Name: Nurse Education Today
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ASSIA, CINAHL, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), EMBASE, MEDLINE, DIALNET
  • Keywords: Delphi analysis, Education, Occupational health nurse, Qualification
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 Elsevier LtdBackground: Occupational health nurses have promoted health and practiced at a strategic level for many years, and are closely aligned with public health and policies, workplace and environmental regulations, and changes in the nursing profession. Objective: This study was carried out to create a consensus text on the definition, qualifications, responsibilities, and education of occupational health nurses based on the 21st century requirements. Design and methods: A Delphi panel of public health nursing academicians, occupational health nurses, other health professionals, faculty members of public health, and occupational physicians. A consensus-building approach using three rounds of e-Delphi technique were used, with 45 participants in the first round, 41 in the second round, and 36 in the third round. Data were collected in all three rounds with Google Forms between October 28, 2021, to February 28, 2022. Qualitative content analysis was performed in the first round, and mean, standard deviation, median, and mode values were presented based on the answers to the 5-point Likert questions in the second and third rounds. Values of at least 80 % and above were used for the consensus text in the third round. Results: 62.2 % of the participants were female. The mean age was found 47.71 ± 11.03 years. The experts reached a consensus on the definition of occupational health nurse by emphasizing professionalism, effective communication, record keeping, nursing knowledge, skills, equipment, and competence in the field, with a participation of 91.7 %. A consensus was reached on the qualifications including observation, examination, evaluation, research, health promotion, compliance with confidentiality and ethical rules, and working in harmony with the team, with a participation of 94.4 %. The responsibilities of occupational health nurses included to create a healthy and safe workplace, participate in periodic health examinations, maintain effective communication with employees, acting in accordance with ethical principles, provide continuous professional development, and perform health education and promotion, guidance, and counseling. Experts specified that occupational injuries and diseases, duties, authorities, and responsibilities of the occupational health nurse, occupational health and safety legislation, health education, risk assessment, effective communication, and health literacy need to be integrated into the content of certificate program with 97.7 % participation. A maximum of 500 h for the total duration of the certificate training was suggested. Conclusions: The expert panel opinions provide a wide perspective for competencies, and educational standards of occupational health nurses. The results could assist in initiating the infrastructure of multidisciplinary postgraduate education programs, developing national and international collaborations, and increasing the number of scientific events should contribute to the professional development of occupational health nursing. Future research should focus on imbedding these consensus items in national and international certificate programs to prepare qualified advanced occupational health nurses.