Form follows function: Occupational health nursing as a member of the management team

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Role, often designated by a given title, e.g., manager, has been one of the most common means of defining occupational health nursing practice. A function based model provides an opportunity to reframe the occupational health nurse as a member of the management team. This descriptive study characterized the functions of a random sample (40%) of members of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses from eight Midwestern states (463) in 1994. With a 78% response rate, the most frequently performed function for all respondents was 'evaluate status of employees returning to work after absence' (68%). The relative frequencies for functions performed by the associates degree nurses were very similar to those for diploma nurses (r=.889 based on a perfect relationship value of 1). Subjects with baccalaureates in nursing performed more educational programming than subjects with non-nursing baccalaureates who performed more frequently in a policy area. Type of masters preparation represented different functional activities. The department to which the respondent reported affected functions. Reviewing function by salary level revealed a linear relationship with certain functions by frequency. To facilitate the investigation of the role construct based on functions, the researchers conducted a principle components analysis of the data. Four principle components were found representing groups of functions that tended to be performed by the same sets of respondents. The functions in each component tended to cluster around common skills as defined by Hersey (1988).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalAAOHN Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1997


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