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NHS jobs: frequently asked questions
Welcome to our NHS jobs page, featuring all the latest roles throughout the UK, as well as frequently asked questions below.
What sort of nursing jobs are there in the NHS?
NHS jobs for nurses go far beyond core nursing roles such as general nursing or children’s nursing.
At entry level, it could include roles a student nurse could take on for extra money, such as a Healthcare Assistant. But at the other end, it could include specialised or more senior roles, including an Oncology Nurse, Theatre Nurse, Senior Nurse or Nurse Practitioner.
All of these roles require different levels of skills or experience, and involve working in many different settings including hospitals, community settings, care homes or specialist clinics.
What are the daily responsibilities in an NHS nursing role?
Your daily duties will vary greatly depending on what role you take, your specialist area and your level of seniority. However, at a very broad level your responsibilities could include:
• Observing and recording the condition of patients
• Managing and administering medication and injections
• Helping doctors with assessments, operations and consultations
• Planning discharges from hospitals
• Educating patients about their ongoing health
• Working with patients’ families to help them understand their situation and supporting them with ongoing care plans
If you work in a hospital, you’ll work in a shift pattern which could include some night shifts and unsociable hours. Roles in the community, meanwhile, are more likely to follow a more standardised Monday to Friday, 9-5 pattern.
How do you get a job in the NHS?
To become a Nurse you need to be registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC). And to be eligible to register you need to complete a nursing degree in any of these four core areas: adult, child, mental health and learning disabilities.
Thereafter, to move into a specialist area, like paediatrics or theatre nursing, you’ll probably need to undertake some postgraduate training – and you’ll definitely need to gain some experience within your chosen area.
However, if you decide to start your NHS journey as a Healthcare Assistant, there are no set entry requirements. You’ll normally need good literacy and communication skills, and some providers will ask for GCSEs in English and Maths.
Beyond entry-level Healthcare Assistant positions, the two major qualifications for development are the NCFE CACHE level 2 and 3 certificates in healthcare support. These can normally be studied for while you’re working, and your employer may well support you through an apprenticeship.
How much can you earn in an NHS nursing job?
Average earnings vary according to your specialism, seniority, experience and qualifications.
Newly qualified Band 5 Nurses earn more than £25,000 a year – rising incrementally every year until you reach the top of your banding. This salary remains the same regardless of your specialism – so Band 5 Staff Nurse jobs pay the same as, for example, Band 5 Mental Health Nurse jobs.
From there, more experience and qualifications can help you to earn in excess of £35,000 a year.
Advanced Nurses, Modern Matrons and Nurse Consultants can earn much, much more – with some consultant-level Nurses earning more than £70,000 a year.
In addition to a transparent salary, one of the biggest perks of working in the NHS is a generous benefits package, which includes a good pension and excellent holiday and maternity/paternity allowances.
Find your next NHS job today
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