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RGN jobs: frequently asked questions
Welcome to our RGN jobs page, featuring all the latest Registered Nurse roles throughout the UK, as well as frequently asked questions below.
What does a RGN do?
RGNs, sometimes referred to as RNs, Registered General Nurses, or simply Nurses, broadly refers to any qualified Nurse within one of the four core NHS specialisms: adult, child, mental health and learning disabilities.
But essentially, in common speak, an RGN refers to an Adult Nurse. Given the range of specialisms, what an RGN does can vary greatly.
It can also vary based on whether you work in a hospital or a community setting. In a hospital, you could work in a variety of inpatient or outpatient wards; in the community, you could find yourself working in a school, prison or GP surgery.
There are approximately 525,000 Adult Nurse RGNs in the UK.
Currently, this number falls well short of the amount the UK needs to keep pace with the nation’s growing healthcare demand.
What are the daily responsibilities of an RGN?
RGNs clearly have a huge range of responsibilities that differ according to setting and specialism.
But broadly, as an RGN you might carry out these kinds of tasks on a daily basis:
• Writing patient care plans
• Observing and recording the condition of patients
• Monitoring and administering medication and injections
• Assisting doctors with assessments, operations and consultations
• Working with and supporting patients’ families
• Planning discharges from hospitals
• Educating patients about their ongoing health
• Mentoring students and junior nurses
• Working with patients’ families to help educate them about the condition at hand
You will likely work in a shift pattern, unless you work in the community where a more structured, 9-5 role is far more likely.
What qualifications do you need to become an RGN?
To land an RGN Nursing job you need to be registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC).
And to be eligible to register you need to complete a nursing degree.
You can complete a degree in any of these four core areas: adult, child, mental health and learning disabilities.
Courses typically last three years and are available at universities and educational institutions throughout the UK.
Half of your course will involve clinical practice, and apprenticeships are available in many parts of the country. In terms of experience, your degree should set a foundation that helps you to land your first role.
But in some cases taking bank work or even gaining work experience will put you in an even stronger position.
How much do RGNs earn?
Registered General Nurse salaries start at Band 5 on the official NHS pay-scale.
This means that newly qualified RGNs will earn approximately £24,214 a year – rising incrementally every year until you reach the top of your banding.
From there, more experience and qualifications can help you to work your way up into higher bandings.
Band 6 salaries can reach as high as £37,000, and Band 7 salaries peak above £43,000.
Beyond this, Advanced Nurses, Modern Matrons and Nurse Consultants can earn considerably more – with some consultant-level Nurses earning more than £70,000 a year.
General Nurses have a strong foundation to build varied careers which can see you become a specialised researcher or lecturer too.
The NHS is the major employer of RGNs, but the private sector offers many positions too. Private healthcare providers, charities, care homes and private schools all employ Nurses, but pay within the private sector is unregulated, and therefore, unpredictable.
It’s also important to note that the private sector doesn’t normally offer a benefits package that rivals that of the NHS.
RGNs also often become bank or agency workers.
In terms of salary, this can in some cases become very lucrative, with high day rates available. Flexibility is a big attraction too.
However, earning a good salary as a full-time bank or agency RGN depends greatly on experience.
You’ll need regular and reliable bookings, and that becomes easier with time.
Find your next RGN job today
View our latest roles above, or if you can’t find what you’re looking for, create an account and register your CV here and we’ll send you the latest roles as soon as they arise.