The average pay rates for nurses

What impacts how much you earn?

Official statistics from NMC1 show that as of September 2020, the number of permanent UK nurses rose to a staggering 675,803. Whilst these nurses have been hired under the same premises and complete similar daily requirements, they aren’t all paid the same salary. This is because of impacting factors such as qualification levels & specialist knowledge. Factors also include what role you wish to work as, whether you choose to become an NHS or agency nurse and where you live in the UK.

Average pay rates for nurses broken down

Back in 2018, The Royal College of Nursing, or RCN, calculated that an NHS nurse earnt on average £642 a week, with an annual income of £33,384.

Working as an NHS nurse, you will be on a pay band ranging from 1 to 9, with pay band 9 being the most senior. The income difference between pay band 2 – healthcare assistant – and band 7 – advanced nurse practitioner is roughly £13,360 per year2. Both refer to having a full year’s experience.

Amongst other things, the main differences between a healthcare assistant and an advanced nurse practitioner are:

  • Expertise
  • Approval to prescribe medication
  • Specialist knowledge

To compare earnings to the NHS, we pay a healthcare assistant £18.50 per hour, 5 days a week on an 8-hour shift. An advanced nurse practitioner has the potential to be earning £60 per hour, 5 days a week on an 8-hour shift.

At Thornbury Nursing, we pay you an hourly rate and not a salary. This is due to the nature of being able to work when it suits you rather than working a strict shift pattern.

Interested in joining us?

Find out more about what is needed to join us. Browse the specialisms that we’re currently recruiting for at Thornbury.

Do you earn more as an agency or an NHS nurse?

On average, private agency nurses tend to earn a higher daily rate of pay compared to a nurse with a full-time, substantive position. This is due to the current acute demand for nurses to support with the Covid-19 healthcare global crisis.

As a Thornbury Nurse, you choose what and how many shifts you work each month. You control the income you receive each month. Meaning that whether your nursing career is your main job, or you do it alongside another job, you can work more hours to:

  • Save up for a holiday
  • Treat yourself
  • Add to your savings account

The choice is yours! Becoming a Thornbury Nursing Services nurse gives you complete control of your own finances.

  If you want to join the modern way of working and find out more about how much you could earn as an agency nurse with TNS, please follow this link.

How to have a successful nursing career

  1. Be punctual, professional, presentable and a team player – the easiest to achieve, but where so many fall short. Being where you’re needed, at the correct time shows to your employer that you’re reliable and trustworthy. Always remain professional in your mannerisms, help colleagues where needed and avoid workplace drama.
  2. Networking – is key. Getting your name to prospective employers, workplace contacts and friends of friends will only benefit you. Whether you’re looking for advice or know of someone with an innovative way to help with the success of your department, having a go-to book of trustworthy contacts will only benefit you. It shows your employer that you’re proactive.
  3. Join nursing forums and groups – Similar to networking, signing up to forums is really beneficial. It will educate you and keep you in the loop of current news and nursing affairs. Raising your new findings up to colleagues and superiors will highlight your skill set and desire to learn more.
  4. If you have a substantive post, utilise your One-to-One meetings – Feedback is critical to your development. Whilst being praised boosts our self-confidence, succeeding means learning from prior mistakes. Undertake actions given by your superiors. Use the one-on-one time to ask any questions that you may have. Asking for feedback from those higher is more beneficial than asking those on your level.

Giving back to you

At Thornbury Nursing, we’re aware that NMC fees have become a financial burden for many nurses and midwives. Since launching our NMC payback scheme, we have paid NMC fees for over 2,400 Thornbury nurses. This has enabled them to continue doing what they love.


Register with Thornbury

We are looking for exceptional nurses and midwives to join our team. Register with Thornbury to access high rates of pay, paid mileage and support with revalidation.

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