what type of work can newly qualified nurses do? 

Newly qualified nurses can choose to work through one employer, or can do bank work through a nursing agency, working different shifts in multiple settings, with multiple employers.

As a newly qualified nurse, you will have just completed your studies, achieved your nursing qualifications and obtained an approved degree in nursing - congratulations! A lot of your hard work has been completed. You will then need to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in order to gain your registered pin, which will allow you to get a job as a nurse.

what do newly qualified nurses need to do to succeed?

  • Newly qualified nurse job description
  • Newly qualified nurse salary 
  • How long are you a newly qualified nurse?
  • Nursing career paths
  • Advice from nurses

what are the responsibilities of a newly qualified nurse?

You can start your career at various levels, but you will usually begin as a band 5 nurse. You will get practical, and potentially even financial support as you progress your career. Newly qualified nurses are typically trained by more experienced nurses under a preceptorship, where a mentor will guide you through your job.

what are my job options as a newly qualified nurse?

As a NQN, working with the NHS you can choose to work through one employer, where you will usually go into one setting. It is likely that you will work in this one setting for the entirety of your time as an NQN, which is usually from four months to 12 months.

You can also sign up to a nursing recruitment agency. When you work for an agency, you will be able to experience four or five settings in a year, giving you more experience of what you like, what you enjoy, and where your skills lie. You’ll also have the support network around you of other agency nurses and a community of newly qualified nurses, who can help you manage any anxiety you have as a NQN.

The salary you can expect as a nurse is split into bands:

  • Band 5 = £24,214 per year
  • Band 6 = £30,401 per year
  • Band 7 = £37,570 per year

NQNs will almost always start their careers as a band 5 nurse. However, there will be lots of opportunities for career development, and a nursing salary guide can help show you what salary you could be earning. 

nursing career paths.

Once qualified through, nurses normally specialise in one of four areas: adult nursing, child nursing, mental health or learning disabilities nursing. Within those there are further specialisms such as dermatology, haematology, intensive care, long-term care. In terms of banding, you can progress from band 5 upwards:

Band 6: nurse specialist

  • Responsibilities: perform more advanced procedures relevant to the environment and discipline of nursing.

Band 7: nurse (advanced)

  • Responsibilities: perform most advanced procedures; responsible for administering medication.

Band 8a: matron

  • Responsibilities: manage patient caseload and responsible for ensuring high level of care is delivered to all patients.

Band 8c: nurse consultant

  • Responsibilities: direct patient contact fulfils 50% of the role with other responsibilities covering research and evaluation of nursing practices. Advisory based tasks are also covered by the role. 

Click here for more detail on nursing career paths.

advice for nurses.

As a newly qualified nurse (NQN) taking the first steps in your career can be very daunting. That’s why we’ve spoken to real-life nurses, such as nurse and Love Island star Rachel Fenton, to get her advice:

Here are some questions NQNs currently ask:

Q: Where do I get my nurse uniform and nursing scrubs from?

A: Your setting or agency will supply it

Q: What hours will I work?

A: This will depend on your rotation

Q: What training will I get as a NQN

A: Your mentor will support you and you can get free CPD training from agencies - click here to view randstad’s training

NQN jobs.

Looking for a job as a newly qualified nurse? If you are weighing up your options and considering joining a nursing recruitment agency, why not get in touch with one of our nursing recruitment consultants for a confidential chat. You can call the team on 0161 245 3347, or email nursinguk@randstad.co.uk.

Want to see what jobs we’ve got available? Newly qualified jobs near me.