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Pay levels confirm lower status of nurses

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Hospital nursing directors earn about 40 per cent less than their chief executive and 46 per cent less than their medical director colleagues, a Nursing Times straw poll of 15 foundation trusts suggests.

The figures raise questions about nurses’ influence at board level and whether the trend is related to gender pay inequality.

A “ceiling” on nursing careers, unless individuals want to become chief executives, could discourage strong leaders.

Even the chief nursing officer for England, on £155,000, earns less than the average foundation trust chief executive. The chief medical officer earns £205,000 and the NHS chief executive £215,000.

However, nurse directors told Nursing Times there was more concern about pay for sisters and matrons than themselves.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • We have to stand up and speak for ourselves. We also have to stop selling ourselves short. The Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) accepted the pay, and so do other nurses else where. When one gets to the level of CNO your negotiation skills and sense of self-worth come into play more than at any other level. In other words you get what you ask for or you can tell them where to go. And if other nurses do the same, the emloyers wil begin to listen. It will be interesting to know whether professors of nursing are paid any less than professors of medicine, in general.

    However, for nurses to build confidence in themselves, we need to feel that our basic qualifications are at par with others. That is where the confidence starts. I mean starting off with a degree. It does not necessarily make you a better nurse than the one with a diploma, but it gives you more confidence to speak up. Not just because you are sure of what you know (nurses with diplomas may also know the same thing), but because you do not consider yourself any less qualified or educated than other healthcare professionals. This sense of self-worth filters through to the employers and colleagues. You do not hide and moan and groan.

    From life experience, I have learnt that people see you the way you see yourself. Lets stop saying 'I am only a nurse'.

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