Nursing pay scales under the National Health Service (NHS) Agenda for Change are as follows: Band 5 (newly qualified nurse) £21,176 - £27,625; Band 6 (specialist nurse) £25,528 - £34,189; Band 7 (advanced nurse) £30,460 - £40,157; Bands 8 A - C (nurse consultant) £38,851 - £67,134.
Extra allowances of 5% - 20% are payable in the London area, depending on the proximity to inner London.
Working hours are typically 37.5 hours per week. This may include evenings, weekends and bank holidays. In residential and hospital settings, 24-hour care is usually required, meaning shift work is typical. Nurses working in the community are more likely to have regular hours, although some carry out on-call duties for emergency situations.
The vast majority of mental healthcare is now community-based, with some functions provided by healthcare or social care assistants.
It is common for mature graduates to enter nursing (including mental health nursing) and many do so as a second career.
Vacancies occur throughout the UK, particularly in the main urban areas. Specialties, such as child and adolescent mental health services and inpatient services, sometimes experience skills shortages.
A positive work/life balance may be difficult to maintain due to the level of personal commitment and working patterns required. In spite of widespread 'zero tolerance' policies, there is a risk of exposure to violence by patients in some environments. Paperwork is also on the increase, partly in response to the threat of litigation.
The need for overnight absence from home is dependent on the nature of the post and shift patterns. Travel during the working day is common for community psychiatric nurses (CPNs).
Salary data from NHS Careers. Figures are intended as a guide only.
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