Nursing in the UK | NHS Nurse Bands & Pay Scales Explained

If you’re thinking of making the move to the UK to work as a Nurse in the NHS, you will need to familiarise yourself with the grading and pay system for NHS staff.

The NHS operates nine bands and job profiles are classified accordingly. For example, a catering assistant or cleaner is typically a Band 1, while an Administrative Assistant and Porter is a Band 2.

Within Nursing, qualified Staff Nurses start as a Band 5 moving to Band 6 as a Junior Sister, Specialist Staff Nurse or Emergency Nurse Practitioner.

A Band 7 Nurse is a senior nursing role such as a Senior Sister, while a Band 8 (which is sub-divided into 4 bands – A, B, C and D) generally includes Assistant Directors of Nursing, Senior Nurse Manager, Matron or Divisional Nurse.

At the top end of the scale are Band 9’s, who are very senior Clinicians such as Chief Nursing Officers and Executive Directors of Nursing.

When it comes to getting paid by your new employer, your salary will be determined by your Band and also where you work in the UK. The NHS is devolved in the UK, with England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales each having their own publicly funded health systems and slightly different pay scales.

For full details of the pay scales for nurses working in the NHS click here.

Finally, if you’re planning to work for an NHS Trust in London, it might help to know that Nurses working in Inner London receive an additional 20% of salary with a minimum payment of £4,200 and a maximum of £6,469. Nurses working in Outer London receive an additional 15% and those working in the London Fringe receive 5% – this is known as London Weighting or the High Cost Area Supplement.

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