In the UK there are four main fields of Nursing, adult, children’s, learning disability and mental health. Even within these fields, you can become specialised with further training, advancing your career and salary. Nurses must register with NMC and continue to stay up to date with training throughout their careers. Students need to pass an NMC-approved course to become a registered nurse and start work for the NHS or private sector. A nursing degree typically takes 3-4 years full time to complete, depending on which type of Nursing you choose to study. NMC approved courses consist of half practical training and half theoretical training.
The average Nurse earns approximately £33,000 £-35,000 per year. For NHS nurses, salary depends on their current “band”. For example at band 5, the level of a qualified nurse after graduation, a nurse can start earning around £24,907. After a nurse has moved up to the top of band 5 through experience, they can move up to band 6 by completing further training and qualifications, becoming a Senior Nurse or a Specialist, where the salary starts at £31,365. The highest is band 9, the highly specialised position of nursing consultant, with an earning potential of over £100,000. Working for the NHS has many benefits including the NHS pension scheme, increased pay for “unsociable hours” (weekends, night shift, holidays) and paid training opportunities.
Advancement of career is similar in the private sector, but the average salary is difficult to calculate and compare due to lack of regulation. It is typically considered to be similar to the salaries of NHS workers, sometimes being higher. Promotions are based on training and experience, but salaries are not determined by government-regulated bands. Many nurses also work through agencies, earning a high hourly rate and enjoying more flexibility, but this is without sick pay or annual leave.