NHS Careers > Explore by career > Nursing > Pay for nurses

Pay for nurses

Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. This covers all staff except doctors, dentists and the most senior managers. The AfC job evaluation system determines a points score which is used to match jobs to one of the nine pay bands and determine levels of basic salary.

In addition to basic pay, there is also extra for staff who work in high cost areas such as around London.

What do nurses earn?

Your career in nursing could start at band 2 as a clinical support worker (nursing) rising to nurse consultant at a band 8a-c. As a full qualified nurse, you would start your career at band 5. Examples of other roles, with typical Agenda for Change pay bands include:

  • health visitor (band 6)
  • nurse team leader (band 6)
  • nurse advanced (band 7)
  • modern matron (band 8a)
  • nurse consultant (band 8a-c).

The table below is an indication of how the AfC pay bands match certain job titles. They are based on nationally produced job profiles. With our information on the actual pay rates, it can be used as a guide to pay in the NHS. However, some job vacancies will carry different job titles to those provided below.

Band 2
Clinical support worker (community)
Clinical support worker nursing (hospial)
Band 3
Clinical support worker nursing higher level (community)
Clinical support worker nursing higher level (hospital)
Clinical support worker nursing higher level (mental health)
Band 4
Nurse associate practitioner acute
Nurse associate practitioner (community)
Nurse associate practitioner (mental health)
Nursery nurse (community)
Band 5
Nurse community
Nurse GP practice
Nurse mental health
Nurse schools
Nurse learning disabilities
Theatre nurse
Band 6
Health visitor
Nurse team leader (learning disabilites)
Nurse specialist
Nurse specialist (community)
Nurse specialist (GP practice)
Nurse specialist (learning disability)
Nurse specialist (NHS Direct)
Nurse specialist (schools)
Nurse specialist (special schools)
Nurse specialist mental health (community)
Nurse team leader
Theatre nurse specialist
Band 7
Health visitor specialist
Health visitor team manager
Nurse advanced

Nurse advanced (schools)

Nurse team manager
Nurse team manager (learning disabilities)
Nurse team manager (mental health) community
Nurse team manager (NHS Direct)
Nurse team manager (schools)
Nurse team manager (community)
Nursing health visitor specialist (community practice teacher)
Band 8A-C
Modern matron Band 8a
Nurse consultant Band 8a-c


Where can I get more information about Agenda for Change?