Similar careers

How to become an Occupational Health Nurse

occupational health nurse careers

What does a Occupational Health Nurse do?

Occupational health nurses aim to encourage better health and well-being in workers. Their duties can include:

  • providing pre-employment medicals
  • assessing and treating employees who are injured or become ill at work
  • providing counselling and support
  • identifying health and safety problems and advising management on how to deal with them
  • carrying out risk assessments
  • training and supervising staff to become first aiders
  • maintaining employee health records, and developing and managing emergency procedures.
Employers of occupational health nurses include large organisations such as hospitals, airlines, retail chains and financial institutions, as well as private consultancy firms which are called in by organisations to give specialist advice. Occupational health nurses can work as part of a team of health and safety experts, or alone - this may depend on the size of the organisation.

What's the working environment like working as a Occupational Health Nurse?

Hours of work vary depending on the employer. Many occupational health nurses work 37.5 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. This may involve a rota or shift pattern, including weekends, evenings and nights. Part-time or flexible hours may be available.

They will usually work in a clean, bright occupational health room, but may also spend some time in other work environments.

What does it take to become a Occupational Health Nurse?

To be an occupational health nurse, you should:

  • have good communication skills and be able to relate to people of different backgrounds
  • be able to teach people to follow health and safety procedures and healthy lifestyle plans
  • have the authority to make sure instructions on heath and safety issues are carried out
  • be able to observe and deal with health and safety risks as they arise
  • be able to stay calm and think clearly in an emergency
  • be able to work on your own initiative, or as part of a team
  • be mature, responsible and tactful.

Occupational Health Nurse Career Opportunities

Occupational health nurses are found in all kinds of organisations including factories, office complexes, universities and colleges, department stores and hospitals. They may be employed directly by an organisation or work for a private consultancy or NHS trust. Self-employment is possible, including working as an occupational health consultant.

Some occupational health nurses progress to managing other occupational health staff or running an occupational health centre. It may also be possible to move into health service management or nurse training.

There are some opportunities to work abroad.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Occupational Health Nurse that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

NHS Learning and Development Service
Tel: 08000 150 850
Email: learning@nhscareers.nhs.uk

NHS Careers
PO Box 376
BS99 3EY
Tel: 0845 606 0655

Nursing and Midwifery Admissions Service (NMAS)
New Barn Lane
GL52 3LZ
Tel: 0870 112 2206 for general enquiries
Tel: 0870 112 2200 for application packs

Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS)
New Barn Lane
GL52 3LZ
Tel: 0870 1122 211

23 Portland Place
Tel: 020 7637 7181
Registration contacts
Overseas: 020 7333 6600
General: 020 7333 9333

NHS Education for Scotland
Careers Information Service
66 Rose Street
Tel: 0131 225 4365

Health Professions Wales
2nd Floor, Golate House
101 St Mary Street
CF10 1DX
Tel: 029 2026 1400

Northern Ireland
University of Ulster at Jordanstown
School of Nursing
Shore Road
Co Antrim
BT37 0QB
Tel: 08700 400 700

Courses to help you become a Occupational Health Nurse