This short guide looks at the average salary of an ICU Nurse, the range of salary depending on experience and how best to boost earnings within the role.
ICU Nurses, or Intensive Care Unit Nurses, have uniquely challenging and rewarding roles.
In a highly pressurised and sometimes fast-paced environment, they work within teams that help all kinds of patients in critical conditions.
And although ICU Nurses come from the same general nursing foundation as other Nurses, it’s a highly specialised role.
They work in hospitals and monitor and manage a huge range of complex equipment. ICU Nurses therefore work with far fewer patients than a General Nurse might on any given shift – and a 1:1 Nurse to patient ratio is very common.
But how is this reflected in terms of salaries? What is the average salary for an ICU Nurse in the UK?
This short guide examines the pay on offer for ICU Nurses working today.
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What Is The Starting Salary For An ICU Nurse?
The starting salary for an ICU Nurse is currently £27,055 a year. That’s a Band 5 salary, which is the same banding applied to all newly qualified Nurses.
With each year of experience you move up to different pay points within a banding. And to move to a higher banding, you’ll normally need to apply for a new role, perhaps after developing new skills.
Pay at the top of Band 5 is just under £33,000 a year.
What Is The Average Salary For An ICU Nurse?
The average salary for an ICU Nurse is approximately £37,000 to £42,000 a year.
The majority of ICU Nurses are on Band 6, so this range takes into account the typical level of experience of an ICU Nurse, and the typical bandings.
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What Is The Highest Salary An ICU Nurse Can Earn?
ICU Nurses with enough experience can earn salaries of between £45,000 and £55,000 or even beyond.
These levels of pay reflect senior roles at Band 7 or even Band 8.
However, this level of pay is normally only available to specialists, perhaps performing at consultant level. This will require specialist skills and qualifications – in addition to plenty of experience.
How Else Can You Boost Your Earnings As An ICU Nurse?
Beyond building your experience or gaining new skills and qualifications, the other way of growing your potential earnings is through bank or agency work.
With patient to Nurse ratios of 1:1 common, intensive care units can’t afford to be short of staff. This means that NHS Trusts are sometimes forced to call upon specialist agencies or staff banks to plug gaps in rosters.
In these cases, and assuming you have the flexibility and experience to meet expectations, bank and agency roles can offer a high rate of pay.
The other longer term career route towards higher pay could be to head into a health management role, research or teaching.
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