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Blog: Putting a price on nurse prescribing

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I am frequently asked about remuneration for nurses who are prescribers. It’s true there is no official financial benefit for nurse prescribers.

What needs to be taken into account is an understanding of how Agenda for Change pay banding works, which is not easy! The NHS job Evaluation handbook (which can be downloaded) will give plenty of information on how the banding is weighted.

When my post at the strategic health authority was being AfC’d in 2005, I had to complete a job analysis questionnaire (JAQ) which was 44 pages long! There were 16 factors and each factor had a list of levels, which have definitions in the hand book (are you keeping up with me?) and were mapped to an amount of points. The points that I achieved on each factor (depending on what level I had been given) then gave me an overall amount of points. When added together the points gave the deciding panel my banding.

This was not without problems, I completed my JAQ alongside my colleague who did exactly the same job as me, and who had very similar nursing and academic background. Our questionnaires were virtually identical but we worked for different organisations. My colleague was given a higher banding than I was! (Now there’s a surprise.) We both appealed and the good news was that I was given a higher banding; the not so good news for me was that so was my colleague.

Ironically our organisations then merged and we were working alongside each other doing the same job, employed by the same organisation but not on the same pay band. This left me with very mixed feelings; glad that my colleague had secured a decent pay banding, but also feeling the inequity of the situation. I tried to amend the situation but soon gave up when it became clear that I was getting no where fast.

I am not alone. Sadly there are examples of inequity in pay banding at all levels of nursing, and the introduction of AfC has not brought about pay equity as I had hoped it would.

In understanding the AfC system, nurses who are prescribing will see why having the qualification may increase the number of points you have, but may not be enough to push you up to the next pay band.

Any questions?

Click here for more blogs and details of Fiona’s work

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