The profession of nursing, known for being as demanding as it is rewarding, has definitive pay brackets laid out by the NHS. This makes it much clearer to negotiate salaries, to anticipate your next pay rise, along with discovering what is expected professionally from each new jump up the career ladder.
The NHS has just announced its latest three-year deal which will come into effect by the end of 2018, which sees pay rises of around £2,000 per annum across all pay Bands (1-9). Pay scales for a fully qualified Registered General Nurses (RGN) begins at Band 5 on the NHS Pay Scales.

There is a great deal of scope for advancement and variation in the career of nursing, depending on speciality and the amount of extra training completed. While starting salaries for registered general nurses are a little below the national average at £22,128, top-level earners can expect annual salaries of up to £102,506, on Band 9.

progressing in your nursing career. 

Certain career choices in nursing are more financially rewarding than others, we explore a few of the more popular choices and the different skills needed to progress to the next stage.

school nurses. 

School nurses begin their career on Band 6 which offers a starting salary of £26,565 per year. From there, it’s to become a pediatric nurse, a modern matron or a nurse consultant in children’s nursing, all of which begin on Band 8a (£40,428). Along with gaining child-focused experience to advance in your career  there are a variety of Pediatric Continuing Education Courses which will prepare you for advancement.


The entry-level salary for midwives begin at Band 5, but there are many ways to make progression after gaining a few years of experience and taking on additional training. If over the years you’ve proven yourself to be adept at organisation and a natural leader, your career trajectory may lead you to become a midwife team manager, launching you into Band 7. Midwives who have dedicated their lives to the profession and remained vigilant in keeping up with the latest technologies and research relevant to their field can also become a midwife consultant – pay Band 8a.

mental health nursing. 

Registered Mental Health nurses begin on the pay Band 5, but there is enormous scope for career progression. Choosing a specialisation as an RMN is the best way to ascend the career ladder, with Nurse Specialists in Mental Health enjoying Band 6 salary. Those who demonstrate leadership within their role, or participate in one of the NHS Leadership Academy courses may consider becoming Mental Health Nurse Team Managers (Band 7).

keep learning. 

The best way to support your career in nursing, whichever path you choose to follow, is to ask your mentor or superior for access to additional training, or simply question how you can progress further in your role. Demonstrating a dedication to your profession and advancement will always go a long way, as will remaining up to date with new training and research, and accepting responsibilities which challenge you when they arise.