Half of nurses say they are paid badly; just a quarter feel well-paid

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
January 17, 2023, 9:47 AM GMT+0

One in three say they would not go into the profession again

With a second round of nurses strikes planned for 18-19 January, a new YouGov survey reveals the state of job and pay satisfaction in the profession, as well as the wider NHS.

The results show that half of NHS nurses and midwives (49%) say their job pays badly, including 14% who say it pays “very badly”. This compares to 39% across the NHS workforce who feel their wages are too low, and 22% across the wider British workforce.

Approaching two thirds of nurses and midwives (64%) consider themselves likely to still be working in their current type of job in the next five years. This figure is consistent across the NHS.

However, nurses and midwives are split on whether they would encourage others to join the profession. Just 32% say they would do so, while another 35% say they would neither encourage nor discourage someone. Slightly fewer than a third of nurses (31%) would actively discourage someone from going into nursing – indeed, a similar number say that they themselves would not go into the job if they had to choose again (34%).

It is not out of a lack of love for the job – eight in ten nurses and midwives say that they either love (28%) or like (54%) their job. Only 8% actively dislike it.

This is a higher level of job satisfaction than the British workforce in general, of whom 66% say they love or like their work, and is also slightly higher than the wider NHS (75%).

When it comes down to trade-offs, by 52% to 16% nurses and midwives say that they would rather do a job they love that pays badly than a job they hate that pays well. These results largely mirror the wider NHS workforce and British workers in general, although the latter are slightly more willing to take a well-paying job they dislike (23%).

See the full results for nurses and NHS staff here and for the wider workforce here

Photo: Getty

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