A guide on the basic and fundamental nursing principles, functions, and responsibilities in the practice of occupational health is presented, emphasizing the dominant role occupational health nursing plays in the delivery of occupational health services. Included are outlines of the historical growth and development of occupational health and the industrialization of the American labor force. Program activities and services discussed include medical monitoring and physical examination, absenteeism control, disaster control, health and safety education, hearing and vision, rehabilitation, and use of community health resources. Relationships between the nurse, physician, industrial hygienist, and safety specialist who compose the occupational health team are discussed. Discussion of levels of nursing experiences for employment, qualifications and education emphasizes the need for continuing education and further preparation to expand the level of nursing functions. The work setting, industrial environment, and corporate structure are described to provide an understanding of the dynamics of the man-made work environment. Current health and safety legislation which impacts upon the health and safety of the American labor force is examined. Resources to assist the occupational nurse in planning, implementing, and evaluating occupational health programs are provided.