- Workplace Health & Safety (formerly AAOHN Journal)
- April 2012 - Volume 60 · Issue 4: 159-165
Autonomy, the freedom to practice independently and to exercise professional judgment in practice activities, is a central element for professional practice. Numerous articles and studies have reported on professional autonomy in general nursing practice; however, professional autonomy for occupational health nurses has not been explored in depth. This article advances the development of a body of knowledge relative to professional autonomy in the practice of occupational health nursing. This article also provides an overview of professional autonomy in nursing practice; discusses the nature and importance of professional autonomy in the occupational health practice setting; reports findings from a seminal study of occupational health nurse autonomy; and addresses professional autonomy in the context of collaborative practice.
Dr. Thompson is Principal/Occupational Health Consultant, Croft-Taylor Consulting, LLC, Ridgefield, CT.
The author received an honorarium from the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, Inc., to write this article.
Address correspondence to Margaret C. Thompson, PhD, RN, COHN-S, FAAOHN, Principal/Occupational Health Consultant, Croft-Taylor Consulting, LLC, 19-25 Prospect Ridge, Ridgefield, CT 06877. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: November 20, 2011
Accepted: February 22, 2012