Training and development (occupational health nursing)

This page has information on the training and development opportunities in occupational health nursing. 

After qualifying as nurse, you need to be committed to learning and always keep your skills and knowledge up to date. 


To maintain your registration to practise with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, you’ll need to go through the process of revalidation.

The process is straightforward and will help you as a nurse or midwife to demonstrate that you practise safely and effectively. You will have to revalidate every three years to renew your registration.

Find out more about revalidation on the NMC microsite

Vaccination in progress


Nurses and midwives who are registered with the NMC and are working in a public health role can apply to undertake an NMC-approved training programme in specialist community public health nursing (SCPHN). This is particularly important for nurses whose decisions can affect whole population groups (and, in the case of health visitors, for example, the qualification is in practice essential for employment). Some nurses, for instance those working as occupational health nurses, health visitors, or school nurses, who have completed the SCPHN programme have their area of practice shown on the SCPHN part of the NMC register (SCPHN-OHN, -HV, -SN), whereas others working in more general public health nursing roles are entered on the register as SCPHNs without a field of practice shown.

Development opportunities

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. Some nurses in the NHS decide to move into service management or clinical academic research

Nurse consultants

As you gain more experience, you might be able to apply for jobs as a nurse consultant. You would spend a minimum of 50% of your time working directly with patients. You’ll also have a number of other roles and responsibilities including: 

  • developing personal practice
  • involvement in research 
  • contributing to the education, training and development of other nurses

Consultant nurse roles are specialised and posts are created based on the health needs of local communities. They are also among the highest paid nurses in the NHS.

NHS Leadership Academy

The NHS Leadership Academy also runs a number of programmes to support nurses into leadership roles including the Mary Seacole programme. They also offer a programme purely for frontline nurses and midwives to help develop their skills and build confidence. More information on the NHS Leadership Academy and its programmes.  

Education and training roles  

Education, training the professional development of the next generation of nurses is vital to delivery of patient care. Nurses can get involved through a number of roles: 

  • preceptors
  • mentors
  • practice educators
  • lecturers

Click on the links below for more information about these roles.

Nursing careers resource

A careers resource has been jointly developed by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Health Education England (HEE) to help registered nurses and the clinical support workforce plan their health careers effectively. It shows different ways that you can develop your career from a band 5 role with case studies, videos and next steps.

Visit the RCN/HEE careers resource for registered band 5 nurses

  • Preceptors offer guidance and support to newly qualified nurses. They will be qualified practitioners and normally have experience in the area of practice as the practitioner requiring support.

  • Mentors or assessors are responsible for a range of activity and learning for student nurses, such as the quality of the learning in a practice setting and the assessment of a student’s competence.

  • Practice educators lead the teaching and development in the practical setting rather than the theoretical setting which would be led by a lecturer. The practice educator will provide guidance and support to mentors involved with students and will provide a link between the practice setting and the higher education institution.

  • The lecturer is responsible for classroom teaching in higher education institutions. The role is similar to that of the practice educator in the practice environment and both roles have equal standing.

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