we take a closer look at the 2023 statistics for the average nurse salary in the UK and provide insight on the various factors which influence nurse salaries, reflecting the diverse roles and responsibilities within the nursing profession.
Average nurse salary in the UK
Latest information states that in 2023, the average nurse salary in the UK was between £33,000 to £35,000 per annum. This figure, however, should be understood in the context of various influencing factors. These include the sector of employment (NHS or private) and the nurse’s level of experience and professional development.
NHS Nurse Salary Bands in the UK
The vast majority of nurses will work within the NHS once they have qualified. A nurse salary in the NHS is paid across several Bands which directly relate to training, knowledge and experience.
The NHS pay Bands range from Band 5 for newly qualified nurses to Band 9 for those nurses at the top of their profession. In 2023 the pay Bands were as follows:
- Band 5: £27,055-£32,934
- Band 6: £33,706-£40,588
- Band 7: £41,659-£47,672
- Band 8: £48,526-£91,787
- Band 9: £95,135-£109,475
An NHS nurse will increase their salary as they gain additional years of experience withing their current pay band.
A junior nurse’s salary in the UK generally falls into the lower bands of the NHS pay scale. For example, those in Band 4 start with a salary of £23,949 per year. As they gain experience and possibly additional qualifications, their salary can incrementally increase within this band, reaching up to £26,282 annually.
Band 5 – starting salary
The starting nurse salary in the NHS is a critical factor for those entering the profession and under the 2022-23 pay scales, a newly qualified nurse in Band 5 starts with an annual salary of £27,055. The current starting salary for a Band 5 Nurse is £28,407. Once a nurse has 2-4 years’ experience, they will have the potential to earn the salary at the top of Band 5 of £32,934.
This represents the initial earning potential for nurses at the start of their career offering a solid foundation from which they can advance both in terms of experience and remuneration as they progress through the NHS bands.
Band 6-9 Nurse salary
A nurse working in Band 6 will need to possess specialised skills, additional qualifications and several years of experience. In 2024 a Band 6 nurse salary starts at £35,392 and increases to £42,618 for nurses who have more than 5 years’ experience. At Band 6 roles include Senior Nurse, Ward Manager, Health Visitor and Specialist Nurse.
At Band 7 the nurse salary will start at £43,742 and rise to £50,056 for the those with more than 5 years’ experience. This Band requires a high level of specialised knowledge as roles require an increased level of responsibility. At Band 7 roles include Ward Manager, Emergency Nurse Practitioner and clinical specialist.
A nurse working in Band 8 or 9 will likely be an expert in their field and will be able to provide educational development to colleagues. A nurse salary at Band 8 starts at £50,952 and can rise to £114,949 at the top of Band 9. At this level roles include Chief Nurse and Consultant.
Understanding the nurse salary system (NHS)
The NHS in the UK provides a structured, transparent salary pay Bands for nurses, outlined under the Agenda for Change Pay Scales. The Bands segment nurse salaries based on their qualifications, experience, and the complexity of their roles. For instance, a newly qualified nurse in Band 5 commences with a salary of £28,407, while the scale extends to Band 9 for the most senior and experienced nursing roles, offering salaries upwards of £95,135.
Each band encompasses a range of roles and responsibilities, with the prospect for salary progression as nurses accrue more experience, engage in further training, or take on more complex duties.
NHS salaries are periodically reviewed and adjusted to ensure they remain competitive and aptly reflect the role nurses play in healthcare. Alongside their salaries, the NHS provides various benefits like pension schemes, maternity leave, and opportunities for professional development, enhancing the overall attractiveness of a nursing career both financially and professionally.
What nurse salary to expect at Dedicare
At Dedicare, we have long championed the provision of good conditions for all nurses who choose to work with an agency. We firmly believe that nurses, like any other profession, should have the opportunity to choose flexible working patterns over a permanent position. Our aim is to contribute to making the profession more attractive and encourage more people to work as a nurse and develop their career in the UK.