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NHS workers - how long did it take you to progress from Band 5 - to 6 - to 7 - to 8?

(7 Posts)
NhsQuestions Sat 10-Aug-19 10:28:29

I'm a Band 5 NHS worker.

There may be an opportunity for me to progress to Band 6 in the next 12 months in my current workplace which is ideal as I wouldn't need to move home/schools/from friends etc.

Most of my fellow graduates are already in Band 6 posts - three of these were in band 6 posts within 12 months of being a Band 5.

I've been Band 5 for almost 3 years and haven't been looking elsewhere as my manager has been telling me that 3 years' experience minimum is expected before you're truly ready for a band 6 post. Also - i really like my current place of work and team (and would have needed to look elsewhere for a Band 6 job).

I know I won't get any further than a Band 6 n my current workplace though and would need to move when I'm ready to look at Band 7 jobs.

There are people in my team who have been Band 6 for almost 20 years. When training, I met people near retirement age who had been Band 6 for even longer and knew they'd never get a Band 7 post.

One of my fellow graduates spent 11 months as a Band 5, just over a year and a half as a Band 6 (in the same team) and has an interview next month for a Band 7 job at the other end of the country.

It just seem so inconsistent. Are my chances for progression increased if I were to apply for positions in parts of the country where people wouldn't really want to live (e.g. very rural?).

What did you do to increase your chances for progression? My old uni friend has given me the advice to 'say yes and take part in everything!' which I have been doing since starting but feel as though I'm leading on projects etc when, actually, Band 6s in my workplace aren't doing anything 'extra' except similar clinical work to what I do each day. I just want to feel sure this extra effort is going to be worth it for career progression as I'm finding that I'm having to do more and more at home to keep up with it all.

To summarise this rambling question ...

How long did you spend as a Band 5 before becoming Band 6 (then 7 and 8 if applicable).

What tips would you give for someone at each banding to aid their opportunities for progression?

Thanks so much for any advice.

OP’s posts: |
Tartan333 Mon 12-Aug-19 08:52:27

Still a band 5 after 15 years!! I don't want band 6, do not want any extra stress or responsibility.

I know people who have retired still on band 5. Most people who have gone on to band 6 are still on that band. Band 7 jobs are not advertised often in my trust/field. When band 6s and 7s are advertised, hardly anyone applies for the jobs, the higher up the bands, the less applicants for the job.

NoNoNoOohmaybe Mon 12-Aug-19 09:32:48

What profession are you? What speciality do you want to work in? Community or hospital? Do you want to stay clinical or would consider managerial/leadership posts? I think if you're ambitious and willing to push yourself forward and "learn on the job" there's lots of scope to progress quickly.

I'm an AHP and I was band 5 for 2 years, band 6 for 4 years and been band 7 for 2 years. I will probably never progress to band 8, there are no band 8 posts clinically in my speciality and tbh I'm a bit disillusioned with the nhs.

I think for nurses currently in our community trust there's loads of scope to move up quickly, partly because retention is so poor.

Strawberry72 Tue 27-Aug-19 18:19:29


I've just landed a band 7 role after 23 years in the NHS. But, this was my choice as I was part-time (children) for 10 years. I studied a MSc when I was part time and have done numerous courses in readiness for my new role (that I have wanted for ages).
I was a band 6 for many years.. I was employed, by the NHS, before agenda for change and before the band were introduced but I was on the equivalent of a band 6 about 6 months after qualifying. I have been on the top of the band 6 scale for years!

These days it is very different! People, in my profession, are kept at band 5 a lot longer and, tbh, they are doing exactly the same job as the band 6's! I'd be really fed up if I was band 5 for longer than 3 years. Our band 5's have to complete a specialist portfolio (we did something similar but I did mine on my year out from university) and they can then apply for band 6 roles. I do believe that applicants now have to have a minimum number of years experience before they can apply for the next band but don't quote me on that!

Some people are lucky and move pretty quickly and sometimes it can be being in the right place at the right time (or having friends in the right places, as I have seen a lot)!

Look at the requirements of the band 6 jobs and see what you could be doing now to achieve your target. Keep an eye out for jobs even if it means moving.

Good luck!

Strawberry72 Tue 27-Aug-19 18:30:16

Oh, and may have to move in order to get a band 7 post!

Doyouthinktheysaurus Tue 27-Aug-19 18:42:37

I've been qualified 18 years, I'm a Band 6 and there isn't enough money in the NHS to persuade me to go for a Band 7 or more! I was brand 5 for about 15 years, a lot of that time doing nights while my dses were young.

A lot of nurses want to stay clinical, most Band 7 and above jobs are managerial and patient contact reduces massively.

Lots of nurses progress quickly now as there are fewer people competing for posts but I am old school and I value experience a lot.

The NHS depends on experienced nurses and there is no shame at remaining Band 5 or 6.

thedevilinablackdress Thu 29-Aug-19 08:04:35

I'd imagine it entirely depends on what role you're doing, how often higher band vacancies become available and how large or small the pool of qualified applicants.
There's no set progression.
I'm in a professional but non clinical post. Band 5 for 4 years,. 6 for 5 years, not looking to progress ATM.

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