First the Broncos, and now Jessica Thompson

Denver Water’s occupational health nurse wins top award for scoring highest on national certification test.

May 20, 2016 | By: Kristi Delynko
(Left to right) Denise Knoblauch, ABOHN executive director; Jessica Thompson; Wanda Smiling, ABOHN board of directors, at the national conference where Thompson was presented the award.
(Left to right) Denise Knoblauch, ABOHN executive director; Jessica Thompson; Wanda Smiling, ABOHN board of directors, at the national conference where Thompson was presented the award.

Comparing the achievement of one of our clinic nurses to the Super Bowl champs may seem like we’re bragging. But, it happens to be true — and we can prove it!

Each year, the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses presents its Debra L. Fischer Gibbon Excellence in Occupational Health Nursing Award to the nurse who earned the highest score on the previous year’s certification exam.

And this year’s winner? Denver Water’s own Jessica Thompson, RN, BSN, COHN-S, CEAS, CPCT. (It’s no wonder she has so many initials after her name.)

Thompson has been caring for Denver Water employees for more than three years at the employee health clinic, where she performs wellness checks, as well as drug and alcohol testing; assesses worker’s compensation injuries; provides ergonomic evaluations and coordinates return-to-work programs.

Thompson has a background in oncology, medical and surgical nursing, but she prefers occupational health. “So much of hospital care is focused on treating illness, and I love that occupational nursing focuses on preventative care and wellness,” she said.

“The relationships I’ve been able to develop with Denver Water employees is what makes occupational nursing so rewarding to me.”

Thompson met occupational health nurses from across the country at the organization’s annual conference. The experience gave her a whole new appreciation for the support Denver Water provides to wellness and the health of its employees.

“Not all occupational nurses are able to get certified. I’m lucky to work for an organization where wellness is a priority and career development is supported,” she said.

And all of that makes her a more confident nurse, which benefits all health clinic patients.

“The certification process exposed me to aspects of occupational health I haven’t seen because of Denver Water’s particular work environment, so it expanded my knowledge of the practice,” Thompson said. “I’ve been able to make small modifications in my work to improve processes and make sure I’m providing the best care to my patients.”

Thompson is truly an expert at what she does, and we are very proud to say she’s No. 1.

The Certified Occupational Health Nurse — Specialist (COHN-S) certification exam is administered by the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses, the sole certifying body for occupational health nurses in the U.S.

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