• 10 January 2021
  • 5 min read

A Quick Overview Of Nurses' Salaries In The UK In 2022

  • Matt Farrah
    CEO & Co-Founder
  • 3
  • 285470
"When you next hear about those highly paid agency Nurses, take it with a pinch of salt."

In this article we take a look at how nursing salaries are determined, how they vary between sectors and some points to consider if you’re looking to increase yours.

Topics covered in this article

Introduction

What is the starting salary for a Nurse in 2022?

What is the average salary for a Nurse?

What salary do you earn with each NHS banding?

How do you increase your salary?

How much do private Nurses earn?

Do you earn more as an agency or bank Nurse?

NHS Take Home Pay & More Information On Nursing Salaries

Introduction

The so-called ‘New Pay Deal’ introduced in 2018  ended in 2021. The Government then put in place a 3% pay rise for all NHS staff including Nurses in July 2021, back-dated to April 2021.

For Nurses of varying levels of experience and across different bandings, that means that salaries have been affected in lots of different ways.

Meanwhile, not all Nurses in the UK work within the NHS – and therefore, many haven’t been affected by the New Pay Deal.

So here’s a brief guide to nursing salaries in 2022 as they currently stand.

What Is The Starting Salary For A Nurse In 2022?

A newly qualified Band 5 NHS nurse now earns £25,655.

The vast majority of nurses will work for the NHS once qualified, but it is possible to enter the workforce at a private institution.

Here, the pay is unregulated, but as a starting wage you’re likely to earn a similar or slightly higher rate of pay.

But keep in mind the benefits package too.

As an NHS worker, the benefits you’ll receive will be difficult to match.

What Is The Average Salary For A Nurse?

The Royal College of Nursing has estimated that the average annual salary of an NHS nurse is £33,384.

More broadly, we estimate that the average salary for a nurse is somewhere between £33,000 and £35,000.

That takes into account the average amount of experience of a UK nurse, and data collected on major job boards.

What Salary Do You Earn With Each NHS Banding?

NHS pay is operated in a banding system that was introduced in 2004.

This system allocates specific roles and levels of seniority to specific bands, and therefore, salaries.

As already mentioned, newly qualified nurses enter the workforce at Band 5. Band 5 nurses can earn up to £31,534 with enough years experience (over 4 years).

The salary ranges at each banding are:

• Band 5: £25,655 to £31,534

• Band 6: £32,306 to £39,027

• Band 7: £40,057 to £45,839

• Band 8a: £47,126 to 53,219

• Band 8b: £54,764 to £63,861

• Band 8c: £65,664 to £75,874

• Band 8d: £78,192 to £90,387

• Band 9: £93,735 to £108,075

The upper ranges of each banding are achieved by performing the role within that banding for a certain number of years.

How Do You Increase Your Salary?

As an NHS nurse, your salary will increase as you gain more years of experience within your particular pay band.

However, those incremental increases stop when you reach the top of your banding – and the only increase that could apply is an inflationary one.

The other way to increase your earnings is to move into a higher banding.

This can only be achieved by applying for a new role within that banding, which in itself will normally require gaining further qualifications.

This might be possible from courses that can fit around your existing job.

However, in some circumstances you may need to complete some specialist study or a Master’s Degree.

Trusts will often be willing to fund this.

How Much Do Private Nurses Earn?

Private nursing pay is unregulated, so it’s impossible to say how much a private nurse earns, on average.

Anecdotally it’s said that the pay is typically in-line with an NHS salary – and in some cases, a bit higher.

Whatever financial benefits there may be from working privately must be balanced with other aspects of the job too.

Private hospitals and care settings tend not to be as stretched as NHS organisations, so the work might not be as stressful.

But typically, the benefits aren’t as good.

Ultimately, every private sector role must be individually assessed for its pay and suitability for you.

Do You Earn More As An Agency Or Bank Nurse?

The daily rates of pay for nurses who work through agencies or NHS Trust banks can be quite high – much higher, in some cases, than the daily pay of a permanently employed nurse.

These spikes in pay happen because the NHS is overstretched, and hospitals often desperately need nurses at short notice.

It’s a consequence of acute demand – demand that’s been exacerbated by an ageing population and Covid-19.

However, this doesn’t paint the full picture.

Agency and bank nurses don’t necessarily earn that same rate every day, and a comparison to full-time rates is misleading when you consider deductions like tax, pension and national insurance.

Furthermore, to truly earn more money in the long-term as an agency or bank nurse, you’ll need to be able to get work consistently.

For that, you’ll need lots of experience and contacts ideally across difference specialisms and locations.

So, when you next hear about those highly paid agency nurses, take it with a pinch of salt.

NHS Take Home Pay & More Information On Nursing Salaries

For more information about pay for NHS nurses (take home pay, showing deductions, pension and benefits, in weekly, monthly or annual amounts) go to our NHS Take Home Pay Calculator.

For more information about nursing pay generally, and the full table displaying pay rates for NHS Nurses according to bandings go to our UK Nursing Salary and Pay Scale Guide - 2022.

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    CEO & Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

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  • Matt Farrah
    CEO & Co-Founder

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    CEO & Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

  • 3 Comments
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    • Jency Samuel 4 months ago
      Jency Samuel
    • Jency Samuel
      4 months ago

      Kindly advise, i got many offer for band 5 nursing however salary is only 24K only. I have overseas experience ... read more

      • Obviously, it's very difficult for us to talk specifically about a particular situation as we don't know all the details. But if it is an NHS role in England / Wales then you will be paid in line with... read more

        Obviously, it's very difficult for us to talk specifically about a particular situation as we don't know all the details. But if it is an NHS role in England / Wales then you will be paid in line with the banding of the role, together with the years exp you have. Before the 3% pay rise a Band 5 would start on £24K. The new starting rate for NHS Band 5 nurses is detailed above and on our Pay Guide and Pay Calculator page. If you are talking about private healthcare, then, yes, that will vary.
        read less

        Replied by: Matt Farrah
    • Louise Tulloch one year ago
      Louise Tulloch
    • Louise Tulloch
      one year ago

      Primary care nursing offers an amazing career for newly qualified nurses but I worry we will be able to keep ... read more

    • Louise Tulloch one year ago
      Louise Tulloch
    • Louise Tulloch
      one year ago

      Matt the idea that we nurse for love and not money is incorrect. We love the job we do but ... read more

      • That's a very fair point Louise. I did write that in my bio: "nurses do it for love not money". I guess I didn't mean you're happy to do it for no money, but I get that that's how it read - so I've ju... read more

        That's a very fair point Louise. I did write that in my bio: "nurses do it for love not money". I guess I didn't mean you're happy to do it for no money, but I get that that's how it read - so I've just changed it! Thanks Louise.
        read less

        Replied by: Matt Farrah

        Nursing jobs available

        Replied by: Jabbar Huusain