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Occupational health nurses are leaders of public health and care in the workplace. They specialise in the care and well-being of people at work.
Training and qualifications required
You will usually need to be a registered adult, child, learning disability or mental health nurse to apply for occupational health posts. Applying for a job within a large occupational health service should help you gain adequate supervision and support. This is especially important for a first job in an occupational health.
Expected working hours and salary range
Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. This pay system covers all staff except doctors, dentists and the most senior managers. Occupational nurses in the NHS will usually start at band 5 and work standard hours of 37.5 per week. Many jobs in occupational health nursing will be outside of the NHS where terms and conditions can vary.
Desirable skills and values
You have to be highly organised, flexible and able to prioritise effectively. An occupational health nurse is also highly observant, able to assess patients and take responsibility for determining the best course of action for them.
After qualifying and gaining some experience, there are a variety of routes you could take as the next step in your career. With experience you could progress to a senior nursing adviser within an occupational nursing department. You may also choose to qualify as a specialist community public health nurse (SCPHN).