Nursing Bands in the NHS – A Simple Guide

The NHS employs over 1 million people – 52,000 of them as nurses. Though the NHS employs thousands of nurses, there are plenty of vacancies for highly skilled and experienced internationally educated clinicians. In such a large organisation, understanding the structure of NHS nurse bands, nursing grades, and who is responsible for what is key for internationally educated nurses making the move to the UK.

The NHS breaks down allied health professional and nursing roles into 9 distinct bands that indicate the experience level, skills needed and salary for each role. Bands 1-4 encompass allied health professionals, with nursing roles starting at Band 5. Read on to find out more about nursing in the NHS!

Band 5 – Newly Qualified Nurse

Band 5 nursing roles apply to newly qualified nurses in their first few years after completing training. Band 5 nurses work within hospitals on wards, planning and delivering care with supervision. It is likely that Band 5 nurses will undergo further structured training as part of their role in order to move up to a Band 6. The current starting salary for a Band 5 nurse is £28,407, moving up to £32,934 after 2-4 years’ experiences.

Band 6 – Nursing Specialist/Senior Nurse

Once newly qualified nurses have gained some experienced and passed the competencies required, they can move up to a Band 6. Band 6 roles typically include Senior Nurses, Deputy Ward Managers, Health Visitors and Specialist Nurses. Band 6 nurses will begin to take on more responsibility for patient care, taking more clinical decisions and help lead nursing teams. You will need to attend Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses to move up each band. Salaries start at £35,392, and rise to £42,618 for nurses with more than 5 years of experience.

Band 7 – Advanced Nurse/Nurse Practitioner

Band 7 roles include Ward Managers, Emergency Nurse Practitioners and clinical specialists. At this level, highly specialised knowledge and experience is vital, as Band 7 role comes with increased clinical and managerial responsibilities. Band 7 roles have a starting salary of £43,742, reaching £50,056 for those with more than 5 years of experience.

Band 8 – Chief Nurse

There are fewer roles to choose from at the very top of NHS nursing banding. Band 8 roles generally only apply to Modern Matrons, Chief Nurses and Consultants. Roles at this level are increasingly consultative, focusing on the education and training of others and the management of staff and moving away from nursing duties – though some roles will still require clinical work. Salaries in this band start at £50,952 and go up to £91,787 for those at the highest end of the band.

Band 9 – Consultant Level Nurse

Band 9 nurses are some of the most senior positions in the NHS. Band 9 nurses help shape high-level decision making and will have a range of duties, including training and management of other nurses, outside of their clinical work. Salaries in this band range from £99,891 to £114,949.


The NHS is one of the largest employers in the world. It is dedicated to the continual development and progression of it’s clinical workforce, making it a great organisation to work in to develop your career. As a national health service, the NHS also offers the opportunity to work with a wide range of patients and clinicians, treating a wide range of health conditions. If you are looking to join the NHS as a nurse at any level, get in touch with us today!

At Remedium, we know that moving to the UK to work in the NHS can be a daunting prospect – which is why we are with you every step of the way. Our expert recruiters will guide you through the application and interview process – and once you have secured a position in the NHS, our experienced onboarding team will support you with your visa applications, finding accommodation and building a network in the UK – read more about how Remedium support your journey to the UK here.

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