Occupational Health Nurse

Job Description:

Occupational health nurses care for the health and wellbeing of people at work.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

In this role you could:

  • carry out pre-employment medical checks
  • assess and treat employees who are injured or become ill at work
  • provide counselling and support
  • give advice on health education, health and safety and sickness absence
  • carry out risk assessments and keep employee health records


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of medicine and nursing
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • a desire to help people
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure (leadership)
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork)
  • thinking and reasoning skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become an Occupational Health Nurse, while there are no strict GCSE subject requirements, certain subjects can provide a strong foundation for pursuing this career path. Occupational Health Nursing involves a combination of nursing skills, health and safety knowledge, and a deep understanding of workplace environments.

Here are some relevant GCSE subjects and skills that can be beneficial:

Relevant GCSE Subjects

  1. Science (Biology and Chemistry): These subjects provide fundamental knowledge of human anatomy, physiology, and basic medical concepts.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills are important for calculating dosages, interpreting health data, and managing schedules.
  3. English Language: Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, are crucial for interacting with colleagues, employees, and employers.
  4. Psychology: A foundational understanding of human behavior and mental health can be valuable in the context of occupational health.

You can get into this job through an apprenticeship or by working towards this role.

Further Education

Obtain a nursing degree, such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an equivalent qualification, from a recognized nursing program.


If you’re a qualified registered nurse or midwife, you could do a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse Degree Apprenticeship.

This could take a year and 6 months to complete and is a mix of learning at work and study at an accredited university.


You could apply to become an occupational health nurse if you’re already a registered nurse and have the support of your employer.

You could take a qualification like an approved programme in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing – Occupational Health Nursing (SCPHN – OHN) in England.

There’s usually no minimum amount of post-registration experience needed. However entry requirements can vary between universities who offer the programme.

Working Hours and Environment:

You could typically work 38 to 40 hours a week.

You could work in an NHS or private hospital or at a client’s business.

Your working environment may be physically demanding.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience you could:

  • move into management and lead a team of occupational health staff or run an occupational health centre
  • become self-employed and work as an occupational health consultant
  • work for a private company
  • take extra qualifications and go into nurse education or research