Nursing Salary in the UK

Nursing salaries in the UK are determined by a variety of factors, including location, experience, and qualifications. The average salary for a registered nurse in the UK is £33,384 per annum. Visit out page at 

This figure will vary depending on experience, qualifications, organisation and employer type, and where in the country a nurse is located. For instance, nurses in London earn higher salaries due to the high cost of living in the city. As per the NHS Agenda for Change Pay Scales (2022/23)*, the starting nursing salary for a newly qualified Band 5 nurse is £27,055 per annum, increasing to £29,180 after 2 years of service. A high cost area supplement (HCAS) of up to 20% is payable to nurses working in Greater London or the counties immediately surrounding London.

Nursing salaries in the UK are largely determined by qualifications and experience. Nurses with advanced qualifications such as a master’s degree or a doctorate will earn higher salaries than those with basic qualifications. Similarly, nurses with extensive experience in their field are often paid more.

It is possible for nurses to increase their earnings by working overtime or choosing evening, weekend and bank holiday shifts which pay enhanced rates. Nurses are entitled to receive overtime pay for any hours worked above their contracted hours (overtime rates vary depending on position, location and experience).

While NHS pay for nurses is very clearly structured, private sector pay can vary greatly. It is not possible to quantify the difference between public and private sector remuneration. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to each. NHS pay packages offer reliability and stability with defined salary bandings. Private sector nurses are not constrained by banding ceilings and can negotiate benefits with their employer.

It is important to note that nursing salaries in the UK are subject to change, and negotiations between the government and nursing unions can affect public sector pay rates. The profession remains an essential part of the healthcare system and continues to attract individuals who are passionate about making a positive difference in people’s lives.

There are over 12,000 searches in Google each month for the term, nursing salary in the UK.

* The Agenda for Change is the national pay system for all NHS staff in the UK, including nurses. It sets out the pay rates for each job role, based on qualifications, experience, and location, ensuring fair and consistent pay across the NHS. 

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