A training course for agricultural occupational nurses that could be used as a national model was developed by the Iowa Center for Agricultural Safety and Health. An advisory committee of 13 health professionals, most of whom were nurses, was charged with planning the course. The committee looked at various requirements for the course, including the development of a training process, quality assurance, formal recognition of the training, specialized knowledge, skills, and competency, educational materials and possible ways to upgrade rural nurses to the required level for agricultural occupational nurse. A model program was developed and a curriculum prepared using a combination of didactic material and practical training for clinical nurses as well as physicians engaged in agricultural occupational health. A modular format with increased flexibility was suggested so students could opt out of areas where they had adequate experience. The committee envisioned that the course could be part distance learning, which could be completed at home, supplemented by practical courses or workshops at specific locations, at collaborating universities or agencies. The program implementation phase was planned for 1997 to 2001.