Press Release: Occupational Health Nurses Week

April 5, 2021

Contact: Ande Leslie


Occupational Health Nurses Create a Safe and Healthy Workplace During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Chicago — The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) will celebrate Occupational Health Nurses (OHN) Week, April 11-17, 2021, which will also be the kick-off for a new “We Love OHNs” initiative to raise awareness for and recognize the significant contributions of occupational health and safety professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.   

OHN Week recognizes and celebrates the thousands of occupational and environmental health nursing professionals. These professional nurses promote the health and well-being of workers and their families, developing programs that enable healthy, engaged and productive employees.

OHNs play a critical role in the pandemic. They develop policies and procedures on the prevention and mitigation of transmission of the virus, including disinfection, contact tracing, return-to-work decisions, tracking employees in isolation or quarantine, providing PPE and more. OHNs may administer COVID-19 vaccines to employees or within their communities.

“Occupational health nurses step into times of crisis to provide preventative care and innovation to save lives and reduce suffering of worker populations,” said Kimberly Olszewski, DNP, CRNP, COHN-S/CM, FAAOHN, FAAN, AAOHN President. “This year’s OHN Week celebration is more important than ever as OHNs are called upon to protect their workers’ and families’ health against COVID-19, in turn keeping the world open for business.”

OHNs are advocates and business leaders delivering quality care and healing within organizations to keep employees healthy and businesses open. They bring a combined knowledge of health and business blended with healthcare expertise to balance the requirement for a safe and healthful work environment with a “healthy” bottom line.

OHN Week also commemorates the inception of the largest professional association for occupational and environmental health nurses on April 12, 1942, when 300 nurses from 16 states founded the American Association of Industrial Nurses (AAIN), the predecessor to AAOHN.

The organization today has more than 70 chapters and 3,200 members, and remains committed to advancing the health, safety, and productivity of domestic and global workforces by providing education and practice resources for occupational health nurses.

“Businesses count on OHNs to protect their workers’ health, which in turn helps to reduce absenteeism, lower turnover rates, improve employee morale, increase productivity, and create a positive brand image,” added Olszewski. “AAOHN supports the OHN community as they support their own communities through the pandemic and vaccination distribution.”

Visit for more information about the occupational health nursing profession and a toolkit to recognize the contributions of OHNs during the pandemic.



The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) is the professional association of licensed nurses engaged in the practice of occupational and environmental health nursing. Comprised of more than 70 chapters and 3,200 members across the United States, US territories, and the world, AAOHN is committed to ensuring that occupational and environmental health nurses are seen as the authority on health, safety, and productivity for worker populations.

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