that time there was no specific training for industrial nursing. Meetings took place with
the Minister for Health leading to Nurse Mary O'Callaghan being awarded a World Health
Fellowship to study and observe the role and duties of nurses in industries in England
and Holland from the 5th - 28th April 1961. In October 1961 the OHNAI, in collaboration
with the Department of Health and An Bord Altranais, organised the first course, which
was delivered over a two-week period by Mary (course leader). The lectures were delivered
by An Bord Altranais, Nurses and Doctors working in industry, hospital doctors, an engineer
from the ESB, a medical inspector from the Department of Health, a personnel manage and
two priests - one lecturing on Industrial Psychology and Human Relations, and the other
on Employees at Work.
were three afternoon site visits arranged as part of the course.
Mary compiled and transcribed the lectures into book format following
the course. Following representations from the OHNAI in 1984,
An Bord Altranais set up a certificate course for Occupational
Health (OH) Nursing. Participants on this course received a certificate
in OH Nursing from An Bord Altranais. This course continued up
until 1989, after which An Bord Altranais joined with University
College Dublin (UCD) to run the Diploma in Safety, Health and
Welfare at Work. Nurses who had undertaken the course sat a separate
exam for which they were awarded a Diploma in OH Nursing. This
course lasted for one year after which An Bord Altranais discontinued
their involvement and UCD continued the course themselves.
there are several courses being run at University level, the Multidisciplinary
Diploma in Safety, Health and Welfare at Work run by UCD, UCC,
WIT & UL, a Higher Diploma in Applied Science - Occupational
Health and Hygiene run by The National University of Ireland,
Galway. In addition there is also a Grad.Dip/MBS in Safety and
Health at Work in DCU. All of these courses are recognised by
An Bord Altranais as a relevant course for OH nursing in Ireland.
There has been discussions between the OHNAI and the Faculty
of Nursing in UCD to set up a postgraduate diploma in OH Nursing
in the past, but unfortunately this appears to be on the hold at
this present time. The OHNAI have also pursued the role of Advanced Nurse Practitioners
(ANP) for OH nursing, for which the first position in Ireland has
recently been appointed.
there are approximately 200 Occupational Health Nurses throughout
the country registered with the OHNAI, working in a variety of
settings, industrial and healthcare: both private and public sector.
This number also includes those who have retired (honorary members).
Subsections of the association have been set up in Cork, Shannon
Side and the West to meet the needs of members in these regions.
These divisions work within the realms of the constitution and
keep the OHNAI committee informed of their undertakings.
A special thanks to Bernadette Lavelle and Joan McNamara for this