A nurse’s guide to salary and pay rates in Wales

The following salary information is correct as of July 2023.

If you are a nurse working in Wales, we have put together information on the salaries and pay rates that you can currently expect throughout your nursing career.

The amount you earn will depend on several factors, including your role, experience, location and the organisation you work within. In this blog, we have put together a snapshot of the career options that are available to you and how much you can expect to earn, whatever route you take.

Salary and pay rates information

The following is a guide based on the latest available NHS Agenda for Change pay rates along with Thornbury Nursing pay rates.

NHS salary and pay rates

Within the NHS, each banding includes a number of different pay step points or increments. In most cases, you progress to the next pay step point after you have had an appraisal, attained various standards and had a pay step review meeting, until you reach the top of your pay band for your role.

Although progressing to the next increment doesn’t happen annually, or even automatically, you can expect to move forward within your banding. Information on this progress is as follows:

  • For Band 5 nurses in Wales, increments may be awarded after two years and again after a minimum of two more years in the role to reach the top of the banding.
  • For Band 6 and 7 nurses in Wales, it’s after two years and again after a minimum of three more years in the role to reach the top of the banding.
  • For more senior roles, progression from entry to the top of the banding is after a minimum of five years.
  • When you move up to another pay band (e.g. from Band 5 to Band 6), this means progressing to a more significant role with additional responsibilities.

If you work outside of the NHS, such as for a private healthcare provider, the amount that you earn will differ from the rates set out within the Agenda for Change. However, your progression is likely to work in a similar manner where, as you move forward in your career, your pay increases.

Agency pay rates

When working for an agency, your pay rates will again be different from those outlined by the NHS or a private healthcare provider.

Here at Thornbury, we pay exceptional agency rates to our nurses working in Wales. Together, we support clients when no one else can, working to provide a high standard of temporary, last-minute care when it is needed.

We pay NMC fees and provide the nurses who work with us with a number of other rewards and benefits to support them throughout their careers.

Discover our hourly pay rates and find out more about what we can offer.

How much do nurses earn in Wales?

To give you an overview of what you can earn as you journey through your career, we have looked at different nursing roles and provided average salaries and hourly rates where applicable.

Within each role you go into, there will be a minimum and maximum amount that you can earn. For more detailed information on these figures, please visit:

Agency nurses

Agency nurses are often tasked with covering a shift or job on a temporary basis. At Thornbury Nursing, we work with nurses who can take on last-minute, unusual, or remote shifts. As such, we work with the very best professionals who are flexible, highly experienced and willing to travel long distances.

Our hourly rates of pay reflect the high level of skill, commitment and flexibility required to be an agency nurse with us. Thornbury nurses can earn up to:

  • Trained registered nurse – £45.50 hourly rate
  • Specialist nurse – £54.50 hourly rate
  • Nurse in charge of a specialist unit – £65 hourly rate

Plus more for Bank Holidays.

Band 5 and newly qualified nurses

  • Average hourly rate: £16.19

Newly qualified NMC registered nurses in Wales start their career as Band 5 nurses and typically work in a hospital. As a result, more nurses are working at Band 5 than in any other category.

Band 6 nurses

  • Average hourly rate: £19.95

Nurses working in Band 6 roles in Wales include positions such as:

  • Charge nurse
  • Clinical practice educator
  • Deputy ward manager
  • Experienced paramedic
  • Junior sister
  • Midwife
  • School nurse
  • Senior departmental practitioner
  • Senior staff nurse
  • Specialist nurse

Band 7 nurses

  • Average hourly rate: £24.17

Band 7 nurses in Wales include nurses working in key roles such as:

  • Charge nurse
  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Clinical development lead
  • Practice developer
  • Ward sister
  • Senior sister
  • Ward manager

These are jobs with considerable responsibility where you’ll need specialist knowledge that may include an appropriate Master’s degree.

Band 8a nurses

  • Average hourly rate: £28.09

Band 8a roles in Wales might include:

  • Lead nurse
  • Patient safety manager
  • Clinical manager
  • Modern matron

Band 8b nurses

  • Average hourly rate: £33.07

Jobs at Band 8b in Wales might include:

  • Head of clinical workforce
  • Head of nursing
  • Service manager

Band 8c nurses

  • Average hourly rate: £39.31

Jobs at Band 8c in Wales might include:

  • Head of clinical standards and excellence
  • Head of nursing

Band 8d nurses

  • Average hourly rate: £46.67

Jobs at Band 8d in Wales might include:

  • Deputy director of nursing          

Band 9 nurses

  • Average hourly rate: £55.72

Jobs at Band 9 in Wales might include roles such as:

  • Nurse consultant
  • Director of clinical services
  • Chief nursing officer

Nursing opportunities with Thornbury Nursing

New nursing opportunities with Thornbury become available almost every day, and we recruit across all nurse specialisms at every grade.

Want to become an agency nurse with Thornbury Nursing? Register now

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