Nursing in the United Kingdom


  1. I am a Student Nurse in the UK, and i must say that in the US, Nursing Practice in extremely well paid when compared to that in the States, probably because we are employed directly by the National Health Service Trusts and not agencies or Healthcare Providers.
    But in terms of pay, when i qualify i will be a Staff Nurses Gade D, and i will get paid 19500ish if i am living inside the M25 (a massive ring road that encircles the city of London) Outside of the M25 i woul get 16500, and then the maximum i could probably earn would be 35000 before my role became entirely office based.
    Also there are many differences between your advancement and ours.
    For instance we too have Emergency Nurse Practionners, but they can only take Minor Injuries, also we cannot have Nurse Anaesthetists as the GMC (General Medical Council) blocked the idea (they didn' t think it would be a good idea! Even though everyone knows that an experienced Nurses knowledge of anaesthesia can surpuss that of a Registrar/Chief Resident)
    Although Nurse training is free and we can get up to 6500 from the government as a grant, we cannot have interest free loans and a lot of that money will go on rent leaving you with 100 a month to live on.
    The final straw would have to be that in London an Underground (tube) driver earns 35000 a year with 42 days holiday and maximum of 4 1/2 shifts bewteen breaks and they sit in a tin can with 3 levers, 4 dials and 2 buttons. whre is the justice????
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Gomer
    Could you please answer this question (which I've posted a couple of times, but gotten no response).....in the UK do RN's start IV's or have (what we in the States would call) IV compentency? I know this may be a foolish question, so I apologize up front....but years ago when my hospital attempted to recruit RN's from the UK we were told they didn't do IV's and we would have to train them. Thanks in advance for your response.
  4. by   J. Tigana
    In the hospitals in which I have worked, in the England, nurses may canulate and begin I.V's once they have completed the required study day and have demonstrated their competency.
  5. by   Genista
    Interesting to compare working conditions & wages in different countries. One of our staff RNs (California) just moved to Australia. In her letter that we recently received, she told us things we could not believe about the nursing role over there. Not sure if it's true at ALL Australian hospitals, but supposedly she works at a 400 bed facility where RNs do not carry stethoscopes. They don't auscultate hearts, lungs or abdomens at all!

    Get this- the MDs put in all IVs and foley caths. (Could you even picture calling the doc to put a IV in?). Also, the RNs have minimal charting (she claims they only chart once/day then just a bit of minor box checking).

    Well, before you all move over there, LOL, be forewarned...she also said nurses get about 9 patients/ each dayshift. I guess they keep busy too!

    And on top of all that, she told us that nurses can give over the counter meds to patients w/o an MD order when the patient is hospitalized (like Tylenol, maalox, etc.).

    It's a whole different ball of wax, I guess. It's socialized medicine over there, so you can get wait listed for procedures and treatments for a Loooong time, I hear. She says MDs are very respectful of the nurses, as are the patients. And she says the patients are very appreciative for the nurses help & care, and don't seem to abuse the call light (not like where I work, ha ha).
    I still can't get over the "no stethoscopes" thing. I'm just one of the "new nurses," so I guess it was like that here a few decades ago? Hard to imagine!



    ~kona
  6. by   jayna
    Does Stethoscope have anything to do with the nursing care? I don't think so.

    Why, no stethoscope suprises you?
  7. by   sjoe
    Jay Z--you will find that nursing salaries vary WIDELY, depending on the State of the union involved, the type of nursing, etc. Check out www.salary.com for some comparisons.

    Regarding beginning salaries, for example, (a pound is roughly equal to $1.50 US, making conversion simple): The average RN wage in Florida is under $18/hour (12 pounds). This is the average for everyone, those just starting out and veterans.

    Many RNs working for MDs in private practice are getting closer to $12/hour (8 pounds). In terms of maximum staff RN salaries, in most of the US, they are lower than your maximum ($52K), though in California, NYC, and a few other places, they are somewhat higher--though so is the cost of living.

    In other words, the grass (and the cash) isn't always greener....
  8. by   Catherine UK
    Hi - I am new here but I wanted to answer some of the questions on here about whether nurses in the UK cannulate, put up IVs and stuff like that.

    Well, I've just qualified as a registered nurse and as a student nurse we were taught to cannulate, take blood, catheterise both male and female patients e.t.c. as part of our course. Regarding the IV's, nurses here are not yet allowed to prescribe IV drugs, that is still left for the doctor to do although we do advise them where necessary. Once the drug has been prescribed we can mix the drugs and set the IV up and start administering it either through a bag of saline or directly from the syringe into the canula over the specified amount of time - you have to do an IV course at your hospital though, and this usually only takes a day, if that.

    We do not have nurse anaesthetists here as such, although we do have nurses who work with anaesthetists in the anaesthetics room.

    The nurses role is always changing here in the UK and already I think there are nurses who can prescribe drugs and there is talk of nurses taking over some of the doctors roles in the near future and performing minor operations.
  9. by   aus nurse
    Originally posted by kona2
    Interesting to compare working conditions & wages in different countries. One of our staff RNs (California) just moved to Australia. In her letter that we recently received, she told us things we could not believe about the nursing role over there. Not sure if it's true at ALL Australian hospitals, but supposedly she works at a 400 bed facility where RNs do not carry stethoscopes. They don't auscultate hearts, lungs or abdomens at all!

    Get this- the MDs put in all IVs and foley caths. (Could you even picture calling the doc to put a IV in?). Also, the RNs have minimal charting (she claims they only chart once/day then just a bit of minor box checking).

    Well, before you all move over there, LOL, be forewarned...she also said nurses get about 9 patients/ each dayshift. I guess they keep busy too!

    And on top of all that, she told us that nurses can give over the counter meds to patients w/o an MD order when the patient is hospitalized (like Tylenol, maalox, etc.).

    It's a whole different ball of wax, I guess. It's socialized medicine over there, so you can get wait listed for procedures and treatments for a Loooong time, I hear. She says MDs are very respectful of the nurses, as are the patients. And she says the patients are very appreciative for the nurses help & care, and don't seem to abuse the call light (not like where I work, ha ha).
    I still can't get over the "no stethoscopes" thing. I'm just one of the "new nurses," so I guess it was like that here a few decades ago? Hard to imagine!



    ~kona

    Ah kona, this is only one example of hospitals in Australia. I have nursed here for 20 years nearly, and have worked in a variety of places. Most hospitals I work in I cannulate. Usually each place has a competency workshop to attend. There are some hospitals around, mostly the private places where RN's do not cannulate, but in my experience these are the minority. Many larger hospitals have IV teams too. I have NEVER worked anywhere where MD's put in Foley's that is an RN job.
    I frequently carry a stethoscope and ausculate chests and abdo's.
    RN initated drugs vary from hospital to hospital, but usually cover the general OTC stuff.
    9 patients sounds a lot for a day shift..more likely on a night shift. Perhaps she also was teamed with another RN, EN or AIN.
    And finally.........some of the aussie patients I look after sure do abuse that call bell
  10. by   karenG
    hi
    I work in General practice in London- and I can prescribe! the list of drugs that i can prescribe is limited but hey its a start! I am a nurse practitioner - there are about 2000 of us here ( that have actually done the degree course!) and am one of the first independant nurse prescribers in the country. The role of the nurse here is growing, changing and maturing. It is a case of watch this space!!! The only problem is pay or lack of it but one day...........

    Karen
  11. by   Catherine UK
    Well done Karen. Shame about the pay though - it seems that nurses are expected to take on a lot of what the doctors used to do but the extra work load isn't being reflected in the pay packet at the end of the month. Still I suppose money wasn't the first reason why we came into nursing hehehe.
  12. by   Genista
    Interesting comments.
    Jayna-
    Well, yes, I have to admit that I depend on my stethoscope as an assessment tool. I'm sure there are certain tools that you rely on, that maybe you would have a hard time giving up also. I really like to know what those lungs, heart, and abdomen sound like.I use it to check manual blood pressures. I use it also when assessing AV grafts of our renal patients. Please don't misunderstand me. I know it is possible to give good nursing care without these tools. I just rely on my stethoscope so much, in helping me figure out "the big picture" with my patients. I can't tell you how many times I call the doc b/c a patient is going bad, and they ask me, "How do the lungs sound?" etc. I think it is interesting to learn how healthcare is managed in different countries. Believe me, I KNOW the US sytem has it's problems! I could write you a book about all the flaws and waste in OUR system! Maybe I was silly to be surprised by this, but oh well, lesson learned.

    Aus nurse- Thanks for setting me straight. I knew maybe her (my coworker who moved to Australia) experience was unique, and definately not representative of all Australian hospitals. Maybe her "story" surprised you as well! LOL! She did say she was working with an "EN." It was just really fun for us to imagine calling the doc to start an IV or put in a foley! I know even without doing those things, she is still responsible for assessing changes in patients' status, etc. She did stress that her job kept her very busy! And I'm sorry to hear you have the same problem with call lights as I do. I can spend 40 mins straight with one patient, and thinking I have met their every need, leave the room only to have them call for me 5 minutes later! Hee hee.

    Have a great day everyone!

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