Nursing pay no longer reflects the ‘realities and complexities of modern nursing’, finds pay review body

With many nurses undertaking advanced clinical packages and procedures, “Nurses are part of a modern medical workforce”, they emphasise. 

James McKay
22 July 2021
nurse preparing IV medications

The independent body has suggested a total overhaul of nursing pay.

The NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) has questioned the appropriateness of the Agenda for Change pay scales for registered nurses.


Publishings its independent recommendations earlier today, the NHSPRB recommends that the Government review the current pay arrangements for registered nurses as they fail to recognise nursing as a “modern graduate profession”.

The report states that while nursing pay starts off well, it fails to “keep pace with other graduate earnings over the course of a career” and therefore “this raises the question of whether the AfC system fully reflects the professional demands on nurses and their contribution to the NHS.”

It explains; “The nursing profession has evolved and continues to do so and the breadth and depth of the knowledge, training, experience, skills, responsibilities, effort, and working conditions required to fulfil a nursing role have changed.

A modern medical workforce.

With many nurses undertaking advanced clinical packages and procedures, “Nurses are part of a modern medical workforce”, they emphasise.


“To undertake the responsibilities expected of them in today’s NHS, they operate in a more analytical and independent manner, must be confident in the decision-making skills required to make high-level judgements, need extensive knowledge and experience, and carry out work that demands increasingly advanced levels of practice and clinical knowledge.

The NHSPRB concluded; “We would therefore encourage the parties to consider whether the AfC system accurately reflects the relative job weight of the realities, complexities and development trajectories of nursing as a modern graduate profession, best to enable the recruitment, retention and motivation of nurses in the short and medium term.”

In 2019, former Royal College of Nursing president Andrea Spyropoulos told the College’s annual Congress that “no registered nurse should be a band 5″.

She went on to suggest that given the responsibility and pressures of the role every registered nurse should start at a Band 6 instead.


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