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Adult nurse: Salary and conditions

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  • Fully qualified nurses start on salaries of £21,692 rising to £28,180 on Band 5 of the NHS Agenda for Change Pay Rates. Salaries in London attract a high-cost area supplement.
  • With experience, in positions such as nurse team leader on Band 6, salaries progress to £26,041 to £34,876.
  • At more senior levels such as nurse advanced, modern matron and nurse consultant (Bands 7 to 8c) salaries range from £31,072 to £67,805.
  • Comparable rates of pay exist in the private sector.
  • Payments for unsocial hours are made to NHS staff. Details of pay for unsocial hours in the private sector may vary so contact employers for information.
  • The NHS offers a pension scheme, sickness and maternity benefits. Nurses employed outside the NHS may not have the same terms in relation to pension provision or benefits, but may be offered other incentives such as private health insurance or, occasionally, a company car for senior roles.
  • Shift work is carried out in hospitals, which includes regular unsocial hours. There is increasing scope for 9am to 5pm working in other locations, not only in the community and in specialist units and clinics, but also in industry and commerce.
  • Flexible working has become available as a means of retaining staff, but tends to vary according to whether there are nurse shortages. Currently, workforce levels are stable.
  • The environment and working conditions vary between hospitals and wards. You might be looking after many different patients on a ward, or one or two patients in intensive care or on a high dependency unit. Alternatively, you could work on your own in patients' homes.
  • Nurses often work in multidisciplinary teams.
  • Career breaks and retraining opportunities are often available.
  • Freelance work is possible through agencies or as a private nurse or, for senior nurses, as a consultant.
  • Opportunities exist in most major towns and cities. In rural areas, opportunities are more limited.
  • In the NHS, a clothing allowance/uniform is provided. This may not always be the case in the private sector.
  • Nursing can be physically and emotionally demanding but it can also be satisfying when you see that the care you have provided has resulted in improvement of health, recovery or reduced suffering.
  • Ward-based adult nurses may occasionally need to travel within a working day, for example between two hospitals or units in a trust. Progression into specialties such as district nursing or health visiting, or other community roles, often involves regular travel to visit people in their own homes.
  • There are opportunities to travel or work overseas.

Salary data from NHS Agenda for Change (AfC) Pay Rates . Figures are intended as a guide only.

 
 
AGCAS
Written by AGCAS editors
Date: 
May 2015
 

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