How much will I earn as a Nurse in the UK?

16 March 2021 By TTM Healthcare

UK nurses salary

Nurse Salaries Pay Scale

​You’ve qualified as a Band 5 Nurse in the UK – what NHS Nurse salary can you expect? What might a Mental Health Nurse salary or a Midwife salary be? And what would be a market-related income if you decide to work in the private sector. At TTM Healthcare UK we’re here to guide you as to what to expect…

When you chose to become a Nurse, you were no doubt driven by a passion to be part of a caring profession that makes a difference when its needed most. But of course, what you will earn for being part of that profession is hugely important too. At the end of the day – you have bills to pay, a life to lead and a future to provide for, so you’ll want to know what kind of income you can bank on. Because of the nature of nursing in the UK, there is no quick answer, and pinpointing an ‘average wage’ is difficult. Your salary will depend on whether you work in the private sector or in the NHS, and according to your experience and how far you have progressed in your field.

Let’s take a closer look…

Working as a Nurse in the NHS

​Publicly funded, the National Health Service employs the most healthcare professionals in the UK and offers many advantages to working in the private sector:

    • The NHS is safely guarded by the UK government, so it offers very secure employment for Nurses.

    • There is lots of scope for promotion and career development within the NHS.

    • As well as your NHS Nurse salary, the NHS offers a pension scheme, sickness and maternity benefits.

    • There are strict minimum salary requirements within the NHS – so it can be possible to earn more than in the private sector, depending on the individual private employer of course.

Find out more about how to become a nurse in the UK.

What is a Band 5 Nurse Salary and How Do Salary Bandings Work?

In terms of grading NHS Nurse salaries, the NHS has 9 Bands or levels and job profiles are classified according to this. Bands 1 to 5 within the NHS encompass roles such as catering assistants and cleaners, while qualified Nurses start at Band 5. Whether you qualify as an Adult Nurses, Children’s Nurse, Mental Health Nurse or Learning Disability Nurse, you will automatically start at Band 5 and progress as follows:

Band 5 - Newly Qualified Nurse – you will begin by nursing in a hospital setting and progress within your ward. Most wards operate a clear career progression plan.

Band 6 - Nursing Specialist/Senior Nurse – you move into a more specialised role where further qualifications are necessary, such as a Health Visitor or working as an Intensive Care Nurse.

Band 7 - Advanced Nurse/Nurse Practitioner – for this band you require a Master’s degree or equivalent and might work as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner or an Operating Department Practitioner.

Band 8 - Modern Matron/Chief Nurse – Nursing within this band involves you looking after a large team of staff, carrying extra responsibility, and working longer hours.

Band 9 - Consultant – At this level of nursing you will be an expert in your field, gained through study, a pursuit of specialist skills and vocational experience.

NHS Nurse Pay Scale – UK

NHS Nurse Pay Scale - UK

​Provided you keep up with your relevant training, you will receive increases as you move up into each Band. Remember though, once you have reached the top of your banding you will receive annual government increases only. You would then need to look at having the necessary qualifications and experience so that you can move into a role in the band above you.

NHS Nurse Pay Scale - London

Because of the higher cost of living, the NHS pays higher salaries to Nurses working in both inner and outer London: ​

NHS Nurse Pay Scale - London

​Click to read our blog about working in London as a Nurse.

Working as a Nurse in the UK Private Sector

​Whether we’re talking Mental Health Nurse jobs or a Midwife salary, choose to work as a Nurse in the private sector in the UK and you’ll see that salaries can vary substantially.

You’re best placed by understanding the bigger picture of being a Nurse in the private sector and the benefits it brings:

  • As is the case with nursing in the NHS, there are a huge range of settings available for Nurses in the private sector – from large acute private hospitals to general practice and independent organisations/charities, to residential units and care homes. You can find the environment, pace, type of care and specialisation that suits you best.

  • Generally private healthcare settings are smaller than the NHS so the environment can be less hectic, and Nurses can often give more one-to-one care, as the staff to patient ratio is much lower.

  • As a Nurse in a private setting, you may find it easier to negotiate flexible hours to suit your lifestyle. For example, if you choose to start a family but still want to work and progress your career.

  • The private sector is also very big on further training and development and will often support Nurses in terms of further education opportunities, supporting them financially to do courses in universities.

  • Nurses in the private sector can be offered incentives such as private health insurance, dental cover or even a company car for more senior roles.

Nurse Salary Guide - UK Private Sector

Band ​5 - £32 - £36,000 plus enhancements

Band 6 - £36 - £42,000 plus enhancements

Band 7 - £42 - £48,000 plus enhancements

Band 8 - £48 - £54,000 plus enhancements

​Let us Help and Support You

​For more information on your earning potential as a Nurse in the UK – talk to us at TTM Healthcare UK. We’ll give you the information and details you need – always with your success and happiness in mind.

Click to search for Nursing jobs in the UK.