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  • 28 November 2022
  • 5 min read

How To Become A Band 6 Nurse In The UK

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    • Richard Gill
    • Mat Martin
    • Chinazo Egwuh
    • Nick Dowling
  • 1
  • 10250
Because as a band 6 you will have more autonomy, more decision-making skills and must lead your team."Because as a band 6 you will have more autonomy, more decision-making skills and must lead your team."

Claire Carmichael gives simple tips and advice on how she would approach becoming a Band 6 Nurse, from preparation and timings, to boosting confidence and learning 'to sell yourself' from her own experience.

Stepping Up To Band 6

This role is not for everyone, and many Nurses are happy as a Band 5 Nurse, and that’s ok.

If you are looking to become a Band 6 Nurse – fantastic!

This role is not for everyone, and many Nurses are happy as a Band 5 Nurse, and that’s ok.

There shouldn’t be pressure put on anyone to progress up the Bands, because we need Nurses at every level.

However, if this is the route you want to take, amazing!

I hope in this blog I can give you my best tips and advice on how to become a Band 6 Nurse.

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Entry Points And Timings

Firstly, there’s no real time frame on when you can apply to become a Band 6 Nurse.

There are many suggestions that say it can take roughly 18 months.

However, I have seen people become Band 6 Nurses within 6 months of qualifying.

I also stepped into a Band 6 pay as a newly qualified Nurse when I became a GP Nurse.

So, anything is possible.

I have seen people become band 6 within 6 months of qualifying

Nevertheless, every department, area, trust, and company will be different in their own expectations and requirements.

So please check with those before applying.

Forging A Path

I would look at the Band 6 job description and person specification to see if you meet the criteria needed for the role.

If you meet some of them, but not other parts, apply anyway and sell yourself in the application.

If you check a job description and the person specification and realise you don’t have the skills needed for the role, find out how to get those skills.

Use them as stepping stones to get to your goal.

This is something I do, I think about my career plans, and where I would like to end up and then I check job description details to see what skills and qualifications I need to get there.

I then turn it into smart goals to help me achieve my dreams.

And this would be my best tip for you in your nursing career.

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Confidence and Competence Is Key

Because as a Band 6 you will have more autonomy, more decision-making skills and must lead your team.

To become a Band 6 Nurse, you will need to show you are confident and competent as a Nurse.

Because as a Band 6 you will have more autonomy, more decision-making skills and must lead your team.

You will more than likely attend continuing professional development (CPD) courses to help you get there.

Depending what area, you work in will depend on what CPD courses you will take.

The Importance Of Ongoing Professional Development

For example, as a General Practice Nurse I had to undertake the Foundations of General Practice Nursing course which was a level 7 course and lasted 1 year.

That might seem a long time, however, this course gave me everything I needed to become a confident and competent qualified GP Nurse.

Once I had completed that course, my banding and pay was reviewed.

I could then progress onto a Band 6 pay as I had the skills and confidence to be able to do this now.

If you are working in the community as a community Band 5 Nurse, you will do the district nursing course.

Once you complete this course you can apply for a Band 6 district Nurse position.

Then for hospital wards, you may pick some courses relevant to the area you are working in, such as Respiratory health courses.

In addition, you may also look at leadership, coaching and management courses to help you gain extra skills which will look great on your application form.

Any courses that you undertake should be paid for by your employer as this will benefit you but also the patients as your knowledge will be advancing.

CPD is an important part of your Nurse career and a requirement of the NMC for your revalidation, so you may as well make the most of this and do something worthwhile.

The RCN also suggests that CPD is vital for personal growth and will improve patient outcomes as a result of high quality, safe and effective practice (RCN, 2018)

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Finding Opportunites

Another tip of mine is, talk to your manager about different opportunities, whether it’s training or progression in your area.

In addition, you may also look at leadership, coaching and management courses to help you gain extra skills which will look great on your application form.

You could bring this up at random or wait until your clinical supervision or appraisal to go over this.

An appraisal is a perfect time (in my opinion) to bring something like this up.

It’s a time to reflect on your strengths and weakness and how you can grow personally and professionally.

And lastly, if you apply for a Band 6 role and don’t get it, please don’t beat yourself up about it!

There will have been several people applying with the same clinical skills and qualifications (mostly) and they would have had to narrow it down.

It could be the smallest of things they pick up on.

Learn How To Sell Yourself

Something I was always told when I asked for feedback was ‘you lacked confidence in the interview’ or ‘you didn’t sell yourself enough.’

Do you know how hard that is to hear, time after time? It’s horrible!

So please, sell yourself, and even if you don’t feel particularly confident, act it.

Because if you don’t, someone else will and it could be the one tiny reason someone gets this role over you.

Learn How To Value Feedback

Don’t be afraid of feedback, because it really does help you progress and grow as a Nurse.

So, my final tip here is always get feedback from your colleagues and interviews.

I love constructive criticism because it helps me see where I can improve.

Don’t be afraid of feedback, because it really does help you progress and grow as a Nurse.

Listen to the feedback and take on board everything and then put things in place to help you develop professionally.

Not only this, but feedback is great for your NMC revalidation as well.

Every 3 years, as a Nurse, we have to revalidate and part of that is submitting 5 pieces of feedback from people.

This can be from colleagues, students you have taught, patients or their family members.

I know a lot of people think the NMC revalidation is useless, but I think it’s great for development and it keeps us safe.

We need to acknowledge our weaknesses so that we can work on them and improve.

We all have them and that’s what makes great teamwork.

Because everyone will have different strengths and weakness, and together combined, you can support one another.

About the author

I am a Registered Nurse with over 12 years healthcare experience including: elderly care, orthopaedics, sexual health / family planning, qualified GP nurse, transgender healthcare and now in my new role as an assistant lecturer (as of Nov 2022). I believe that nursing gets a lot of bad press, so I create blogs and vlogs to help anyone considering their nursing career and to create positivity surrounding our profession as I'm so passionate about nursing.

    • Richard Gill
    • Mat Martin
    • Chinazo Egwuh
    • Nick Dowling
  • 1
  • 10250

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    • Chinazo Egwuh one year ago
      Chinazo Egwuh
    • Chinazo Egwuh
      one year ago

      Thank you so much Claudia for this information and congratulations on your new role as assistant lecturer. I have always ... read more

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