Newly qualified nurses automatically start at the bottom of Band 5 within the NHS, and will earn £24,907 a year, as of April 2020. This increases to £26,970 a year once you’ve gained 2 to 4 years' experience. These amounts are subject to change based on allowances and location weighting. Band 6 Nurse jobs for those with less than 2 years’ experience will pay £31,365 a year. 


Moving from Band 5 to Band 6 typically takes around 18 months of experience. Some of the most common roles when moving into a Band 6 nursing job include Senior Staff Nurse, Nurse Practitioner or Ward Manager. 


In order to move into a higher band or more senior nursing job, you must also complete CPD, training or courses to supplement your knowledge and ensure fitness to practice - on common topics such as COPD, heart attacks and strokes. It’s important to gain experience and improve in areas relevant to the role you’re aspiring to get, depending on whether you’re moving into a clinical focussed, or management focussed nursing job. 


The biggest difference between Band 5 and Band 6 is going that extra bit further, for example, if you are hoping to move into a leadership role, think about how you can improve your understanding of dealing with an incident. In your previous role, you simply need to inform the relevant people and follow the correct procedures - now think about how you’d do this as a Band 6 Nurse; managing the process, acting as a liaison between relevant parties, ensuring paperwork is complete, and following up with your team. Can you see how it’s the “extra mile” mentality that is the differentiating factor? Moving into a new nursing job will require you to stay ahead of the game with your clinical judgement, decision making and additional senior duties. 


To find your next nursing job, contact the Mayday Healthcare team today. We are experienced in recruiting across Nurse Pay Bands, and can offer advice on how to progress your nursing career.