Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Description and Background

The OSHA Graduate Nurse Internship Program is a designed experience for registered professional nurses pursuing a graduate degree in occupational health nursing or public health with an occupational health focus. The internship facilitates a professional relationship between the graduate nurse student and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The intern will be provided research opportunities and educational experiences in worker safety and health. The internship, located in OSHA's Office of Occupational Medicine and Nursing (OOMN), integrates occupational health theory with professional practice.

Program Objective

To develop a cadre of occupational health nurses with experience in occupational health and safety policy and regulatory affairs at the national level. This group is prepared to enter the occupational health community as worker advocates with direct, hands-on knowledge of OSHA's mission.

Internship Learning Objectives

At the completion of the internship the intern should be able to:

  • Identify the major components of OSHA’s organizational structure and function.
  • Describe the role of the occupational health nurse and other health and safety professionals in carrying out OSHA’s mission.
  • Analyze a specific occupational health or safety issue and develop a related project of use to the agency.
Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to participate in the OSHA Graduate Nurse Internship Program, individuals must be enrolled in a graduate program affiliated with an accredited university.

  • Eligible Student. An eligible graduate student is any registered professional nurse pursuing an advanced degree in occupational health nursing or public health with an occupational health focus at an accredited university.
  • Eligible University. An eligible university is any accredited university providing graduate education in occupational health nursing or public health with an occupational health focus.

See How to apply.


Selection is solely based on the qualifications of the applicant without regard to race, color, ethnic or national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, lawful political affiliation, marital status, age or disability.

  • OOMN, using criterion-referenced assessment measures, will evaluate each candidate. The domains to be evaluated include academic performance, professional presentation, qualifications and experience, and demonstrated technical writing skills. In addition, candidates may be asked to participate in a telephone interview.
  • The Director of Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management will make the final determination of the number of interns to be selected for intern positions. The number will be based upon available funding and the current needs of the agency.
  • OOMN will notify each candidate and their faculty advisor of the candidate’s selection or non-selection as soon as possible.
  • Selected candidates must accept or decline the intern appointment in writing within 30 days of the selection notification.
  • An offer of an internship does not constitute an offer by the Department of Labor (DOL) or its subsidiaries for a permanent position within the Federal service.
Performance Criteria

Ethical and professional behavior is expected throughout the internship. The intern must abide by all the rules and regulations that have been established for the United States Department of Labor (DOL) employees.

The graduate nurse intern is expected to complete specific program objectives, produce a product by the end of the internship, and assist in the evaluation of the program. This requires the intern to:

  • Complete DOL online training requirements, e.g., computer security awareness training, document encryption, workplace violence and harassment prevention, ethical behavior.
  • Complete a statement of personal and professional objectives for the internship.
  • Complete a selected project(s) of significance to OSHA.
  • Participate in the evaluation of the internship. At a minimum, this will include a mid-point and final conference with the preceptor and internship coordinator.
  • The university will receive compensation for services rendered by the intern at a mutually negotiated rate. The final amount provided the intern is at the sole discretion of the university. Note that in light of the current budget situation in the Federal government, there is no guarantee that there will be money available to fund interns. If funding is not available at the determined amount, a reduced funding level may be possible.
  • Funds received by the university are intended to defray the intern’s expenses while serving as an OSHA intern.
  • Interns are not Federal employees and the internship does not count toward Federal service.
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