Starting a career in Occupational Health Nursing

How do I get my first job in Occupational Health? That is a question we hear a lot at RH Occupational Health and that is because getting your first job as an Occupational Health Nurse is not easy. 

If you are working within the NHS, then the most obvious route to explore first is to apply for Occupational Health Nurse roles in your local NHS trust or local authority. These roles will offer the opportunity to gain experience that will give you the transferable skills needed for the private sector. However, these roles are in short supply and therefore it is very difficult to secure one. In addition to this we speak to Occupational Health nurses in both the NHS and local authorities who are looking for a new job in the private sector as there is not the opportunity to study for an OH qualification in their role. This is largely down to funding issues within their OH dept.

Most occupational health nursing roles are within the private sector, so the option which gives you the best chance of securing your first role within occupational health is via an Occupational Health Provider. These companies outsource OH services to organisations throughout the UK and therefore each provider will have many nurses working for them. As such they cannot rely exclusively on trained OH nurses as there are not enough available so they will train their own. These roles will either be a Trainee Occupational Health Advisor, where the company will pay for you to study an OH degree, or an Occupational Health Screening Nurse role, which utilises your current skills in an entry level Occupational Health Nurse role. Nurses whose skills transfer well into an occupational health role usually come from a background where they are required to conduct health screening and assessment such as Practice Nurses and A+E Nurses.

Below are some links to some useful websites which can provide further guidance. If you are interested in applying for your first Occupational Health Nurse role then check out our vacancies here:

See our jobs page here!

Useful Resources:

Society of Occupational Medicine

Royal College Nurses

Faculty of Occupational Health Nursing