How much does a nurse earn in the UK?

Over the past decade or so there have been lots of strikes over pay and conditions. In November 2011, public sector workers went out on strike over pension changes, and in the first quarter of 2014 there was more talk of strike action because of below-inflation pay rises for nursing staff. With that in mind, you might be surprised to read the answer to the question “how much does a nurse earn in the UK?” is a minimum salary of £21,388.

Pay bands

Public health workers’ wages are divided into bands. There are 9 bands in all. The first covers clinical support roles and begins at £14,294. The second begins at the same amount but the top earners in Band 2 can take home £17,425, whereas the highest salary for the first band is £15,013. Band 3 workers earn between £16,271 and £19,268. This band is also for support workers like porters, but for those in minor management and team leader positions. The fourth band is also for clerical management positions like finance team leader and office manager. These guys earn between £18,838 and £22,016. Nurses come in at the next band.


Nurses earn between £21,388 and £27,901 depending on experience. This is also the sort of wage an entry-level midwife could expect as well as upper level administration managers. Theatre nurses are also earn band 5 wages. Widwife, nursing specialists, theatre nurse specialists and nurse team leaders are paid within Band 6 so they take home somewhere between £25,783 and £34,530 per year.

Top earners

Band 7 earners can expected between £30,764 and £40,558. The sort of nursing positions in this band include advanced nurse and nurse team manager. Nurse consultants are the only nurses to make the top band. In Band 8 there are 4 ranges of wages and it’s not uncommon for the same position in different hospitals to be included in a different ranges. In London, you’ll probably find this position to be worth somewhere between £54,998 and £67,805 (Range C of Band 8) while outside of the capital, Range B which is worth £45,707 to £56,504 is more common for this top nursing position.

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