Occupational Health Nurses


Employment Prospects


Occupational health nurses are employed by corporations and companies of all sizes, by schools, and by government agencies. The Department of Labor reports that there are 3.1 million registered nurses, including occupational health nurses, employed in the United States.

Starting Out

The only way to become a registered nurse is through completion of one of the three kinds of educational programs plus passing the licensing examination. Registered nurses may apply for employment directly to hospitals, nursing homes, and companies and government agencies that hire nurses. Jobs can also be obtained through school career services offices, by signing up with employment agencies specializing in placement of nursing personnel, or through the state employment office. Other sources of jobs include nurses' associations, professional journals, and newspaper want ads.

Advancement Prospects

Administrative and supervisory positions in the nursing field go to nurses who have earned at least the bachelor of science degree in nursing. Nurses with many years of experience who are graduates of the diploma program may achieve supervisory positions, but requirements for such promotions have become more difficult in recent years and in many cases require at least the bachelor of science in nursing degree. Nurses with a master's or Ph.D. degree are much more likely to be chosen for supervisory positions.

Tips for Entry

Read inspiring stories of nurses on the Johnson & Johnson, Nursing Web site (https://nursing.jnj.com/nursing-news-events/todays-nurse).

Contact companies in your geographic area and arrange for either a phone or personal information interview with their resident occupational health nurse.

Volunteer at your local hospital to get an inside view of nurses' lives.