How much do nurses get paid?

Nurse’s pay is often the subject of conversation when it comes to the NHS, given the Conservative government’s desire to keep costs down by restricting rises in line with inflation for nursing staff in the UK.

Nurse’s pay is governed by the NHS Agenda for Change pay scale, which is broken down into “bands” and covers all non-medical staff as well as most “executive” level employees in NHS Trusts.

The “bands” are further broken down into “gateways” which are passed through by staff as they gain experience – usually annually until they reach the top of their “band” assuming completion of relevant appraisals and continuing practise.

A newly-qualified staff nurse will start on the “bottom” of Band 5, which in 2015 had an annual salary of £21.692 (or £11.09 per hour) and will rise each year until they reach the top of their band.

“Staff nurses” are generally on Band 5, a ward sister or a nurse who specialises in a certain skill set (theatre recovery, for instance) may be Band 6, a ward manager or a clinical nurse specialist would be Band 7, while a Matron would be Band 8a.  There will, as usual, be exceptions to this, however!

Below are charts which show the annual salary of nurses, as well as the hourly equivalent.

Nursing pay 2016

Nursing pay 2015-16