There is always a need for nurses and so it can be a job that seems attractive to many. Obviously you will need to be prepared to work with people all of the time and clean up after them as well as cope with seeing them unwell and potentially dying. It is a job that that some people will just not be able to do, but those people who are caring and sociable as well as able to work quickly and efficiently and under stress will be suited to this sort of job.
Types of Nurse
There are different types of nurses and these will earn different amounts of money as well as having different qualifications. Nurses also work in many different environments, not just on wards but also in patients homes , GP surgeries, schools and clinics and with many different age groups. When you train you will decide on an area of specialism which could be adult, child, learning disability or mental health. This will allow you to specialise as you progress through training and find work specific to your area of expertise. To be a nurse you will need 5 GCSE’s minimum a C grade and a science and English would help as well. You will also need two A-levels or equivalent although there are some apprenticeship opportunities as well. The specific role you have will determine your pay.
The pay scale on the NHS consists of different bands with the lowest band being £15,404 for housekeeping assistants and drivers and the highest being directors and consultants at over £100,000. A dental nurse will be in Band 4 which is 19,409-£22,683, an adult nurse at band 5 which is £22,128-£28,746, a school nurse in Band 6 which is £26,565-£35,577 and then nursing consultants and matrons in Band 8a which is £40,428 – £48,514 and chief nurse in Band 8d which is £67,247- £83,258. The salary range is based on a point system and they can also be increased due to London weighting which vary depending on whether you live in Inner London, Outer London or the fringe and the increase is form 5-20% with a minimum of up from £971 and a maximum up to £6,469. To progress through the pay points within each band you will need to build up years of service. You will normally go up a band for each year until you reach the top.
Once qualified and working there will be opportunities for training which could lead to new roles that could push you up the pay bands. You could go into management, teaching or research or go into specialist roles. If you move into these sorts of roles then you will be able to move up through the tax bands and therefore get more pay. You will move up the tax points each year but without doing extra training and changing role, you could reach the top and not get the opportunity to earn more than that.