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Occupational Health Nurse Education

BY Henriett Eva Hirdi PHD, MSc, OHN

The first factory-nurse course has been started in 1933 led by Dr. Mária Baloghy in Budapest. Students of the two-year full-time course learnt about health, social, legal and cultural knowledge. Each week of the course was 45 hours, which gave a total of 2400 hours for the whole course.

In Hungary the repeatedly amended Decree 27/1995 (VII. 14.) of the Minister of Welfare stipulates the structure of Occupational Health Care Service. This Decree defines, what kind of nursing qualifications are eligible for this field.

These are the followings:

  • Industrial Nurse (vocational qualification – 1-year-programme) /The first “Industrial Nurse” course started in 1953. The last course finished in 1997. This qualification is still acceptable in these days.
  • Occupational Health Care nurse (high vocational qualification – 1-year-programme) /The first course started in 1999 and 2013 further changes took place with this course being developed.
  • General Nurse (based on secondary school qualification – 3-year-programme, 4600 hours, multidisciplinary) /The first course started in 1993. In 2008 changes took place with this course being developed.
  • Nurse with B.Sc. degree (4-year-programme, multidisciplinary) /The baccalaureate programme was started in 1995. At present college level programmes are provided in 9 sites of the country.
  • Nurse with Masters degree (5.5-year-programme, multidisciplinary) /From year 2000 nursing graduates can continue their studies in a 1.5-year Master in Nursing programme.

At present there is one educational programme especially for occupational health nurses. Specialising course have to meet certain requirements of content and form. This programme is an undergraduate, post-basic on-job training course, which can be accessed only after completing minimum the 3 years basic training as a General Nurse.

Length of study

  • 1 educational day per week
  • 500-720 hours
  • 50% practical activities, 50% theoretical study 

Criteria for eligibility:

  • Secondary School Leaving Certificate
  • General Nurse qualification
  • Medical Certificate


  • Tuition cca.135,000–190,000 HUF (500-700 €)
  • Examination fee 50,000 HUF (190 €)
  • Incidental expenses 22,000 HUF (80 €)

Language Hungarian

The main topics covered in the curriculum:

  • occupational toxicology
  • methodology of prevention
  • administration of occupational health services
  • occupational diseases
  • work hygiene
  • health screening and examinations
  • work psychology
  • ergonomics
  • work physiology
  • screening tests (e.g. ECG, audiometry, lung function testing, vision testing, etc.)
  • basic computer skills


Hirdi H, Téglásyné BM, Balogh Z. (2013) A foglalkozás-egészségügyi szolgálatokban dolgozó egészségügyi szakdolgozók helyzete napjainkban a MESZK országos felmérése alapján. Foglalkozás-egészségügy, 1: 42-50.
Hirdi H. (2013) Magyarország a foglalkozás-egészségügyi szakápoló képzés bölcsője. Nővér, 6: 26-40.

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Healthy Workplaces
European Agency for Safety and Health at work