Newly qualified nurses start on £21,000 per year but with experience and further qualifications, it’s possible to progress to more senior well-paid nursing jobs that pay significantly more.
Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales and staff will normally progress to the next pay point each year until they reach the top of the pay band. In addition, those working in high-cost areas such as London will receive extra pay weighting – 5% for fringe zones, 15% for the outskirts, and 20% of basic pay for inner London.
Here are five well-paid nursing roles and what it takes to get them.
1. Nurse Consultant: (Band 8a-c) £39,632 – £67,805
The role of nurse consultant is one of the top-paying positions in the UK, with most professionals employed at Band 8a-c. Created to enable experienced nurses to remain in clinical practice rather than move into management, nurse consultants focus on achieving better outcomes for patients by improving quality and services. They spend 50% of their time in clinical practice, with the rest devoted to leadership and consultancy, education and training, service development, and research and evaluation.
What you need: A diploma or degree in nursing, masters-level education in advanced clinical practice and possess or be working towards a PhD. Nurse consultants will have experience of post graduate research training, and teaching and assessment in clinical practice. They may also hold additional qualifications related to a specialist area.
2. Modern Matron: (Band 8a) £39,632 – £47,559
Created in response to patients’ perceived detachment of nursing from its vocational history, the role of modern matron was designed to be visible and accessible to patients, families and careers. Responsible for overseeing all nursing staff within a department, matrons supervise ward managers, train junior members of the team, and ensure cleanliness standards are met.
What you need: A diploma or degree in nursing and possess or be working towards a masters in nursing or a related subject. Nurse matrons will have leadership qualifications/training and will be expected to hold or be working towards management and clinical educator qualifications.
3. High Intensity Therapist: (Band 7 – 8a, b) £31,072 – £57,069
High intensity therapists (the name given to cognitive behavioural therapists working in the NHS) work as part of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme. They help people with a range of complex problems related to moderate-severe depression and anxiety. Trainees are appointed at band 6 or 7, depending on their current psychological therapy expertise. Experienced high intensity therapists can apply for positions with supervisory/managerial responsibility at Band 8a-b, earning up to £57,069.
What you need: To train as a high intensity therapist you’ll need a registered qualification in nursing, clinical psychology, social work or occupational therapy – or be able to demonstrate your competency via a portfolio of evidence. Training is via a specifically commissioned one-year high intensity CBT course, leading to a post graduate diploma. In order to access this training, you’ll first need to apply for a trainee high intensity therapist post. Over 300 training posts are available every year.
4. Surgical Care Practitioner (Band 7) £31,072 – £40,964
Surgical care practitioners are senior nurses who carry out minor surgery (once the exclusive territory of doctors) and provide pre-operative and post-operative care. They may carry out routine operations, for example, carpal tunnel surgery, assist during orthopaedic surgery, such as full-wound closure for patients who have had hip replacements, or act as first assistant during heart and lung operations. When not in theatre (50% of the time) they work in pre-admission and outpatient clinics and provide post-surgical care. According to the Association for Perioperative Practice, there are around 400 SCPs, with most large hospitals now employing them.
What you need: A diploma or degree in nursing, plus additional qualifications related to a specialist area, for example the Royal College of Surgeons Diploma for surgical care practitioners, and research training.
5. District Nurse Team Manager (Band 7) £31,072 – £40,964
District nurse team managers lead and manage the community nursing team and are responsible for the delivery and maintenance of high-quality care provision for people with long term conditions. In addition to delegating, supporting and supervising staff, they provide specialist care advice to patients, colleagues and the wider multi-disciplinary team, and carry out a variety of specialist nursing procedures.
What you need: A diploma or degree in nursing, plus a specialist practitioner qualification in district nursing. Employers are likely to expect candidates to have additional qualifications related to a specialist area.
For up-to-date information on Uk nurse salaries, visit our recent 2016 Nursing Salary List
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