Tags: healthcare, NHS, Nursing...

It is every nurse's dream to see his or her hard work rewarded with a promotion. Sometimes though, knowing what is needed for you to progress through the nursing bands can be one of the most confusing things about your job. 

Gone are the days when simply ‘getting on with the job’ resulted in career progression as managers and matrons want to see an employee push themselves across professional development and attitude advancement.

Every newly qualified or entry-level nurse will start off at band five on the NHS pay scale. To help you breakthrough all the way to bands seven and eight, here are Search Medical’s top promotion tips for nurses in the NHS.

Band Six

It takes on average 18 months for a nurse to amass the necessary job experience to be considered for a band six position.

During this time, nurses must prove they are capable of safely practicing the extra senior duties necessary to thrive in the role. These include taking bloods from patients of all ages and carrying out, monitoring and translating ECGs.

You should attend and complete - or at least be in the process of finishing - a series of courses designed to expand your medical knowledge. There are a vast number of subjects available to study but every nurse should concentrate on the following:

  • Myocardial Infarction (Heart attacks)
  • CVA (Strokes)
  • COPD (Emphysema and chronic bronchitis)

Unfortunately not all of these courses are free to enrol. Although your trust will entirely fund your entry to some of the essential courses, you might have to spend part of or the entire fee needed for certain other training programs depending on whether another NHS trust will fund your additional learning or not. Costs range between £800 to the lower thousands.

The speed of which you take these courses directly correlates to the speed of your career progression.

Bands Seven to Eight

To progress to bands seven and eight nurses must demonstrate the ability to manage a team of varying numbers as well as exhibit a grasp on finance.

Ward managers at 'B7' must learn and master the running costs of maintaining a ward’s functionality. Matrons at 'B8' are granted overall control over three to four individual wards or units and are responsible for delegating to individual managers their budgets and objectives.

To advance your chances of reaching these senior and managerial positions, offer to take on every position of responsibility you are confident in doing. Take the chance of being a linked nurse for a specific role e.g. incontinence when you can. This will provide you with vital expertise in how to succeed in positions of trust and improve your colleague communication skills. 

Taking on a new role or responsibility will always give you new skills and experiences, more information about the company, and a bigger network of colleagues who will vouch for your willingness to progress.

What You Should Do Constantly.

No matter what band you are looking to progress to, every nurse should be doing the following actions throughout their working life. These will help you maximise the essential professional and personal skills needed for career progression.

  1. Sign up to email alerts to keep up to date with industry news and improve base knowledge. 
  2. Make sure you talk to a linked nurse or senior professional to answer any questions you may have. 
  3. Keep your sickness and punctuality ratio down to show you are a reliable and committed worker. 
  4. Keep your managers happy by showing you have a willingness to learn and go the extra mile for your patients.

Search Healthcare is a specialist in not only sourcing and placing nursing jobs but also guiding our workers through some of the most important issues surrounding the profession. If you have any questions regarding progressing through NHS bands please contact a member of the Search Medical team in your nearest office.

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