Part-time/Distance & Online Learning Advanced Certificate 680hascert


If you are a Registered Nurse who would like to provide proactive, preventive occupational health and safety programming in a business setting, Occupational Health Nursing may be for you.

The focus of Occupational Health Nursing is the relationship between the work, the work environment, and worker health. Occupational Health Nursing aims ultimately to improve, protect, maintain, and restore the health of workers, thereby influencing the health of the organization.

How do Occupational Health Nurses influence worker health?

Clients in Occupational Health Nursing practice include the organization as a whole, groups of employees, and individual employees. This specialty program is grounded in the notion of partnership: between nurses and management, labour, and workers; between nurses and other health and safety professionals; and between nurses and community resources. Using a multidisciplinary approach, Occupational Health Nurses (OHNs) contribute to the achievement of a healthy, productive, and successful company by understanding and supporting organizational business goals.

Successful occupational health nurses demonstrate:

  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Self direction, initiative, and energy
  • Ability to work independently and with a team
  • Interest in bringing about change
  • Excellent communication skills - both oral and written (including basic computer skills).

To see OHNs in action watch this video on the role of the Occupational Health Nurse/Nurse Advisor from Worksafe BC.

The program

This program provides the specialized body of knowledge, skills, and leadership abilities to practise at a beginning level in a wide variety of organizations. It offers experienced Registered Nurses either an Advanced Certificate in Occupational Health Nursing after completing 30 credits, or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Specialty Nursing (BSN) after completing 30 more credits (for a total of 60 credits).

Canadian Nurses Association Certification Program

Completion of the BCIT Occupational Health Nursing Advanced Certificate program provides the educational foundation and decreases the experience requirements for eligibility to apply to write the CNA Occupational Health Nursing certification examination.

Other resources

Program Entry

Entrance requirements

Note: Effective immediately, all health care workers who come into contact with patients at publicly-funded health care facilities or in the community, including at long-term-care facilities, will have to get the influenza vaccine or wear a mask during flu season. This policy affects all students who will be entering a clinical setting.

As such, you will be required to provide proof of your immunization or agree to wear a mask at all times prior to being placed in your clinical studies.

The following are requirements for program entry into Specialty nursing certificate and degree courses. Enforcement or waiving of any or all entry requirements is at the discretion of the Program Head.

If you have any questions about your experience or qualifications, please contact the Program Head to arrange program advising.

English Language Proficiency

Specialty Nursing courses are taught in the English language and require adequate English skills. To review BCIT’s requirements on English Language proficiency, please visit BCIT’s Admission and Registration page on English Requirements.

Basic Computer Literacy

Students interested in Occupational Health courses must be familiar with using web browsers, email and a basic word processing program such as Microsoft Word.

Work Experience

RNs or undergraduate students currently registered in an accredited RN or BSN program may start their Specialty Nursing Certificate by taking entry level theory courses. Applicants to the more advanced Specialty Nursing Certificate courses may require a minimum of 6 months to 1 year of relevant work experience in an acute care setting and a resume of work experience may be required to progress in the program. If you have questions about whether your work experience qualifies, please contact the Program Head.

Requirements for clinical courses in Specialty Nursing:

CRNBC Registration

As well as providing this information at the time of admission, BCIT requires students to provide proof of CRNBC membership (or Canadian provinvial equivalent) for each clinical course they enroll in. Without proper provincial registration, you will not be permitted to continue in the course.

Costs & Supplies

Tuition fees

Please check the current availability of courses in the program matrix for individual course fees. You may find three different fees for the same course: one for Canadian citizens, one for international students, and one for re-registration.

Books and supplies

The Occupational Health Nursing program draws on knowledge from a broad range of disciplines and as such requires a variety of textbooks. We are careful to select textbooks that you will use through the remainder of the program and in your future practice in occupational health nursing.

Written course materials and textbooks will be purchased from the BCIT Bookstore. For further information see the bookstore website or telephone: 604-432-8379 (toll-free 1-877-333-8379). You may choose to purchase safety shoes/boots prior to Practice Experience 1.

Students must have the use of a computer with Internet and email access in order to submit assignments, communicate with tutors, and access online resource materials.


Program matrix

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Required Courses: (30.0 credits) Credits
  NSOH 7100 Introduction to Occupational Health Nursing 3.0
  NSOH 7200 Work and Work Environments 1 3.0
  NSOH 7250 Work and Work Environments 2 3.0
  NSOH 7301 Occupational Health Nursing Practice Experience 1 4.0
  NSOH 7350 Occupational Health Nursing: Practice Consolidation 1.0
  NSOH 7400 Disability Case Management 3.0
  NSOH 7450 Occupational Health Surveillance 3.0
  NSOH 7500 OHN: Practice Experience 2 4.0
  NSOH 7600 Occupational Health Program Planning 3.0
  NSSC 7115 Teaching and Learning in Specialty Nursing 3.0
Note: The first course taken in the program should be NSOH 7100. Courses do not necessarily need to be taken in the sequence shown above. Contact the Program Assistant for registration information at 1.800.663.6542 ext 8982 or 604.432-8982. You may take NSSC 7115 at any time prior to the sequence recommended.
Total Credits: 30.0

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

Program length

The length of the program varies, as it is offered in a variety of formats:

  • BCIT offers theory and clinical courses by part-time, independent study. We deliver theory courses over a 12-week term using guided-learning modules and telephone tutor support. If you work full-time, you would generally register for one theory course per term, although this can vary depending on your additional commitments.

  • Through independent study, learn in your own community and structure your learning schedule in a manner that is most convenient for you.

  • Nurses with relevant experience and/or previous courses can request assessment for appropriate placement within the program through either transfer credit or Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR).

Maximum program length for either the Advanced Certificate or the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is seven years. All courses are offered each term: January, April and September.

Continue your education

BCIT School of Health Sciences offers two levels of credential in Specialty Nursing:

  1. Advanced Certificate, Occupational Health Nursing
  2. Bachelor of Science in Nursing - Specialty Nursing (Occupational Health)
    The degree program is a total of 60 credits comprising:
    • 30 Credits granted for the Advanced Certificate, Occupational Health Nursing
    • 18 credits core nursing credits
    • 12 liberal studies credits

Graduating & Jobs

Job opportunities

Job opportunities are expanding, and are often related to disability management activities. Some opportunities may be part-time, in settings with other OHNs or through agencies, in addition experienced occupational health nurses are often self-employed. Salaries vary widely based on type of industry and the nature of the job description.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a list of questions new applicants frequently ask. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us directly.

Frequently asked questions

Are there any prerequisites or academic requirements for enrollment?

Yes - you must be licensed as a Registered Nurse.


Is the Advanced Certificate transferable to the BCIT post basic BSN program?

Yes all 30 credits are transferable.


Do I need to fill out an application and be accepted into the certificate program in order to register for courses?

No - there is no application process. You can register directly online.


Can I take individual courses or take the courses out of order?

Yes - while the courses have been designed to be taken sequentially, you may register in any course in the program (with the exception of clinical courses) as continuing education or to fulfill elective requirements in an undergraduate nursing program. However, it is advisable to discuss your choices with the Program Head.


How long is the Advanced Certificate program?

The program is 30 credits - 7 three credit theory courses (21 credits) and 3 clinical courses (9 credits).


How fast can I work through the program?

That depends on how much time you have to devote to course work. Each 3 credit course is the equivalent of 45 hours of contact time spread over 12 weeks.


How often are the courses offered?

All courses in the program are offered each term, with start dates in January, April and September.


I don't live in BC - can I still enroll in the program?

Yes as long as you are licensed as a Registered Nurse in your home province


Which course should I take first?

The first course in the program is NSOH 7100 - Introduction to Occupational Health Nursing.


I have experience in occupational health nursing can I receive credit for prior learning?

You may be eligible to receive credit through the prior learning assessment (PLAR) process or by course challenge. Contact the Program Head for more information.


I have a BSN. Am I eligible for any transfer credit?

You may be eligible to receive transfer credits for NSSC 7115 (Teaching and Learning). Contact the Program Head for further information.


Contact Us

Janet Morrison  RN, MA, PhD(c), COHN(C)
Program Head
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 7082

Stephanie Wood
Program Assistant
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 2230

Sandra McIvor

Program Assistant
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 8982

Questions or comments?

Please ensure you have reviewed the detailed information on this site, using the navigation to the right, before submitting the form below.

As well, if you meet any of the following criteria, please follow the links for more information, instead of sending the form:

The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy.


Sign up to receive updates, invitations to events, and information about BCIT and your program.

We promise not to spam you, we won’t share your personal information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy.

Apply Now


Contact Us

Payment Changes At BCIT

We've changed the way we accept payments.

Find out more

Search Programs

Important Dates 2014

Term dates and registration 2014

Winter term 2014 - January 6th, 2014 - March 28, 2014
In progress - registration closed

Spring term 2014  April 7th - June 27, 2014
Web registration opens February 16, 2014

Fall Term 2014 September 8 - November 21, 2014
Web registration opens May 26, 2014