Background: Occupational health nursing practice responds to and is influenced by the changing needs of the worker and workplace. Correspondingly, the International Labour Organization's recommendation on occupational health services includes a proposal for specialized training of occupational health nurses (OHNs). It was not known what OH nursing topics were covered and in how many hours at schools offering undergraduate nursing education in Turkey. These data were necessary to prepare the curriculum to train OHNs.
Aim: A national survey to evaluate undergraduate OH nursing education in nursing schools in Turkey.
Design: This descriptive survey included all of the nursing schools (n = 80) providing university level education in Turkey.
Methods: A questionnaire developed by the researchers as a data-gathering tool was sent to the presidents of 80 nursing schools. The study achieved a response rate of 60 (82.5%). Frequency distribution and descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data.
Findings: Occupational health nursing topics were covered in public health courses at all schools. The length of time allotted for OH nursing topics was only on average of 3.2 ± 1.5 h (range: 1–6 h) in each semester. A total of 62 lecturers were responsible for teaching OH nursing.
Conclusions: The study results show that there is a need for the development of a standardized education programme in Turkey. It was decided therefore to develop a new curriculum for OH nursing that would address the amount of time spent on this subject and the content.