Nursing is a demanding but rewarding career, and Nurses play a vital role in the healthcare system. They provide essential medical care and support to patients of all ages, often working long and irregular hours. But how much do Nurses earn in the UK? The answer depends on various factors, including the Nurse's level of education and experience, the type of nursing they practice, and their job location.
How Much are Nurses Paid in the UK?
In general, Nurses in the UK earn competitive salaries with other professions, although they may not be as high as those in some other fields. According to the National Health Service (NHS), the starting salary for a newly qualified Nurse at band 5 is around £25,000 per year. However, Nurses with more experience and advanced education can earn significantly more. For example, a Nurse with a master's degree may earn a salary of £40,000 or more yearly.
Nursing is a diverse field, and many different types of Nurses work in various settings. Some Nurses work in hospitals and clinics, nursing homes, or other healthcare facilities. The kind of nursing a person does can also affect their salary. For example, Nurses working in intensive care units or operating rooms may earn more than those in other areas.
Overall, the salary of a Nurse in the UK is determined by a combination of factors, including education, experience, location, and the type of nursing they do. While nursing may not be the highest-paying profession, it is a fulfilling career that offers the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.
How Much Do NHS Nurses Get Paid?
Here is a table showing a breakdown of how much NHS Nurses earn in the UK:
Level of Nurse
£30,401 - £37,267
£37,570 - £43,772
£76,761 - £103,490
Please note that these figures are only estimates and may vary depending on location, experience, and other factors. The above table is meant to provide a general overview of NHS nursing salaries in the UK.
NHS Nurse Starting Salary
If you’re wondering ‘What is the starting salary for a Nurse in the NHS?’, graduate Nurses start on a Band 5 Nurse Salary which begins at £25, 655 and grows to £31, 534 with experience.
More specially, graduate NHS Nurses in Band 5 can expect:
0-1 years’ experience - £25,655
1-2 years’ experience - £25,655
2-3 years’ experience - £27,780
3-4 years’ experience - £27,780
4-5 years’ experience - £31,534
5-6 years’ experience - £31,534
6-7 years’ experience - £31,534
7+ years’ experience - £31,534
NHS Band 6 Nurse Salary
Nurses at this level would typically work in Nurse Specialist or Senior Nurse roles and would command a wage between £32,306 and £39,027.
More specifically, Band 6 Nurses can earn:
0-1 years’ experience - £32,306
1-2 years’ experience - £32,306
2-3 years’ experience - £34,172
3-4 years’ experience - £34,172
4-5 years’ experience - £34,172
5-6 years’ experience - £39,027
6-7 years’ experience - £39,027
7-8 years’ experience - £39,027
8+ years’ experience - £39,027
NHS Band 7 Nurse Salary
This Band caters to Nurse Practitioners or Advanced Nurses and typically requires you to have a Masters degree for entry. In Band 7, Nurses can expect to earn between £40,057 to £45,839 per year.
More specifically, a Band 7 Nurses income will be:
0-1 years’ experience - £40,057
1-2 years’ experience - £40,057
2-3 years’ experience - £42,121
3-4 years’ experience - £42,121
4-5 years’ experience - £42,121
5-6 years’ experience - £45,839
6-7 years’ experience - £45,839
7-8 years’ experience - £45,839
8+ years’ experience - £45,839
NHS Band 8 Nurse Salary
You’ll be in a Head of Nursing Teams role if you make it into Band 8, such as a Chief Nurse or Modern Matron. Band 8 have sub-bands a, b, c and d with the Nurse yearly income increasing through each. As a Band 8 Nurse, you can expect to earn between £47,126 and £90,387 per year.
More specifically, Nurses in Band 8 can receive:
Nurse Band 8a
0-1 years’ experience - £47,126
1-2 years’ experience - £47,126
2-3 years’ experience - £47,126
3-4 years’ experience - £47,126
4-5 years’ experience - £47,126
5+ years’ experience - £53,219
Nurse Band 8b
0-1 years’ experience - £54,764
1-2 years’ experience - £54,764
2-3 years’ experience - £54,764
3-4 years’ experience - £54,764
4-5 years’ experience - £54,764
5+ years’ experience - £63,862
Nurse Band 8c
0-1 years’ experience - £65,664
1-2 years’ experience - £65,664
2-3 years’ experience - £65,664
3-4 years’ experience - £65,664
4-5 years’ experience - £65,664
5+ years’ experience - £75,874
Nurse Band 8d
0-1 years’ experience - £78,192
1-2 years’ experience - £78,192
2-3 years’ experience - £78,192
3-4 years’ experience - £78,192
4-5 years’ experience - £78,192
5+ years’ experience - £90,387
NHS Band 9 Nurse Salary
The highest Nursing Band offered by the NHS is Band 9 and it pays the annual income of Nurses in Consultant level roles. As an expert in your area of nursing, you will be one of the highest earning Nurses and can expect to receive between £93,735 and £108,075 each year!
More specifically, Consultant Nurses can earn:
0-1 years’ experience - £93,735
1-2 years’ experience - £93,735
2-3 years’ experience - £93,735
3-4 years’ experience - £93,735
4-5 years’ experience - £93,735
5+ years’ experience - £108,075
Nursing Earnings and Careers
Benefits Package for NHS Nurses
While the NHS Nurse wages can be rather substantial as you move up the ranks, one of the main things that draw Nurses into the NHS is the benefits package.
Just an example of some of the great NHS Nurse benefits you can expect include:
- Earn between 30% and 60% more for working unsociable hours
- The renowned NHS Pension Scheme
- 27 days holiday in addition to bank holidays off
- Maternity and paternity leave that more than exceeds the statutory minimum
- Free counselling support and access to occupational health
- Full sick pay for 6 months and half pay for 6 months
- Fully funded Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
How Much do Private Nurses Get Paid?
Private Nurses in the UK can earn significantly more than their counterparts working in the public sector. However, it is essential to note that private nursing is a competitive field, and salaries can vary widely depending on the Nurse's level of education and experience and the type of facility where they work.
According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average salary for a private Nurse in the UK is £35,118 per year. This is significantly higher than the starting salary for a Nurse in the National Health Service (NHS), which is around £24,907 per year. However, it is worth noting that private Nurses are often required to have more advanced education and training than those working in the NHS, which can contribute to their higher salaries.
Private Nurses may work in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and private homes. The type of facility where a Nurse works can also affect their salary. For example, private Nurses working in hospitals may earn more than those working in nursing homes or other facilities.
Private nursing can be a lucrative career choice for those with the necessary education and experience. While salaries may vary depending on the Nurse's level of expertise and the type of facility where they work, private Nurses in the UK generally earn more than those working in the public sector.
How Much Do Agency Nurses Earn?
Many NHS and Private Nurses will find themselves at some point in their careers working alongside Agency Nurses. These Nurses are on hand to fill in when there are staff shortages and extra support is needed to help out.
Agency Nurses are paid at an hourly rate and this typically far exceeds that of other Nurses. Now, this high earning potential is no doubt desirable, but there are also considerations to take into account before committing to becoming an Agency Nurse.
Firstly, Agency Nurses don’t get sick pay. So, if you are unwell, which happens to us all at some point, you will not receive any income whatsoever. Secondly, Agency Nurses receive no annual leave, so any break you have away from work comes at a significant cost.
Further to this, your income is not guaranteed as there may be periods when nursing shifts aren’t available. You can cast the net wider and put yourself forward for more opportunities, but this could mean you would be working in locations or disciplines that don’t appeal to you.
In this instance, if you’re a:
- Nurse looking for part-time work
- Looking to transition into fewer shifts as you enter retirement age
- Aiming to get a wealth of experience by working in hospitals, medical centres, prisons and schools, and by trying out several disciplines
Agency work could be ideal. Though, if you want consistent work and a guaranteed income in an area of nursing you are passionate about, this isn’t the path for you.
Do Nurses Get Paid Overtime?
Yes, Nurses in the UK are entitled to be paid overtime for any hours worked over their regular hours. Overtime pay is typically calculated at one and a half times the Nurse's normal hourly rate. For example, if a Nurse earns £15 per hour and works an additional 10 hours of overtime in a week, they would receive £225 in overtime pay (10 hours x £15 x 1.5).
It is important to note that the amount of overtime a Nurse can work may be limited by the rules of their employment contract and by UK employment law. Nurses are typically entitled to receive overtime pay for any hours worked over their regular working hours, but there may be limits on the amount of overtime they can work in a given period.
Nurses who work overtime may also be entitled to additional benefits, such as time off in lieu or additional paid leave. It is important for Nurses to understand their rights and entitlements when it comes to overtime pay and to negotiate fair compensation for any overtime they may be required to work.
Do Student Nurses Get Paid?
In the UK, student Nurses are typically not paid during their training; instead, they receive a bursary or scholarship to help cover the costs of their education and living expenses. The bursary amount varies depending on the student's circumstances and the type of nursing program they are enrolled in.
What is the Average Wage of a Nurse?
One of the best indicators of your earning potential in any career is to look at the average salary of professionals in that space.
As explored, Nurse wages differ depending on the employer and type of employment. However, there are many job boards and recruitment sites that thankfully keep track of the nursing wages offered in each nursing job advertisement.
As it stands, it’s estimated the average income of a Nurse in the UK sits between £33,000 and £35,000 per year. This paints a picture that the average UK Nurse holds a minimum of 5 years of experience.
Become a Nurse
If you want to kick-start a career in nursing and take advantage of the salaries and benefits packages on offer, we can help you get the knowledge and qualifications you need to reach this goal.
Any UK Registered Nurse must complete a nursing degree that is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) before they can qualify. This requires you to meet a number of entry requirements, which are a mixture of Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications.
learndirect is the leading UK online course provider, offering Level 2 qualifications like GCSEs and Functional Skills, plus Level 3 qualifications like A Levels and Access to Higher Education Diplomas.
Our online Access to Nursing] Diploma is one of the most popular methods of meeting the Level 3 entry requirements, and can get you ready to study nursing at university within a year.
Find out more about how this course can help you become a Nurse by calling our Course Advisors on 01202 006 464 or by contacting us online. Alternatively, you can click below to view the course in more detail!