• 18 August 2020
  • 6 min read

Irish Nursing Salary and Pay Guide

  • Mat Martin
    Content Manager
    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Richard Gill
    • Laura Bosworth
  • 1
  • 2766
"Unlike NHS bandings, HSE pay scales are more specifically built around specific roles."

We take a look at the different pay rates for Nurses in Ireland, the differences between working for the HSE, or going private and offer tips on how you can earn more as a Nurse.

Topics covered in this article

Introduction

What Is The Average Salary For An Irish Nurse?

Pay Rates For Nurses In Ireland

How Much Is A Newly Qualified Nurse Paid?

What Level Of Responsibility And Duties Can You Expect Within Each Nursing Pay Scale?

Private And Public Sector Nursing Pay

What Are The Wider Benefits Of Being A HSE Nurse?

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Bank And Agency Nursing In Terms Of Pay?

How Can I Earn Extra Money As A Nurse In Ireland?

Introduction

Whatever stage your nursing career is at, having a clear idea of exactly how nursing pay works is vital.

This article serves as a guide to the subject, answering all the key questions and explaining all the nuances of Irish nursing pay.

What Is The Average Salary For An Irish Nurse?

According to industry statistics, the average salary for an Irish Nurse is somewhere between €35,000 and €40,000, which is based on data such as years of service and typical career progression.

But this approximate average only tells a small part of the story of Irish nursing pay.

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Like in the UK, Nurses can work both in the private sector and the public sector (the HSE) – and salaries can vary between the two.

Within the HSE, pay rates are assigned for different types of Nurses at different points of their career.

Privately, there is no overarching pay structure.

Pay Rates For Nurses In Ireland

Pay for HSE Nurses is organised within pay scales that are updated annually.

These scales include a starting salary for each position, with incremental rises for every year of service.

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Location and qualification allowances also apply.

In the private sector there are no pay scales as such.

HSE rates are broadly seen as a benchmark, but private institutions often decide to offer higher salaries in order to lure Nurses away from the public sector.

How Much Is A Newly Qualified Nurse Paid?

Newly qualified and Registered Staff Nurses are currently paid €30,009 a year, which rises each year incrementally.

Senior Staff Nurses start on €48,736, and various other specialists and senior Nurses start at rates anywhere between €35,000 and €55,000.

The most senior positions, like Directors of Nursing, start at more than €70,000.

What Level Of Responsibility And Duties Can You Expect Within Each Nursing Pay Scale?

Unlike NHS bandings, HSE pay scales are more specifically built around specific roles.

So essentially, each ‘scale’ is a different nursing role – and of course, each role carries with it very different duties.

The big jump from Staff to Senior Nurse is about responsibility – taking on more accountability and supervising more tasks.

But mostly, changes in roles represent a change in specialism.

Nurse Practitioners, for example, take on the duties of diagnosing illnesses and prescribing medication.

Meanwhile, some roles like Clinical Nurses have a responsibility to manage and improve nursing care and patient satisfaction within entire departments.

Unsurprisingly, they’re very experienced and earn well over €50,000.

Ultimately, it makes sense to think of HSE pay scales as a list of nursing roles and their given salary.

Private And Public Sector Nursing Pay

As explained, public sector nursing pay is managed by HSE in a structured and transparent manner.

You can find out what you’ll earn well in advance, and every year you’ll have a clear sense of how much your pay will increase by.

In the private sector, pay is entirely unregulated.

Private hospitals and care providers can pay very different salaries, and when you apply for those roles there may be room for negotiation according to your experience and qualifications.

However, it’s widely understood that Irish Nurses in the private sector earn more than those in the public sector.

The Nurse to patient ratio is also much lower, so many Nurses sing the praises of working privately.

Nonetheless, it’s important not to disregard the wider benefits of working within the HSE.

What Are The Wider Benefits Of Being A HSE Nurse?

HSE Nurses enjoy superb holiday entitlement, a generous pension, and lots of opportunities for career development.

Being a HSE Nurse is also an extremely stable job, with Nurses in consistently high demand.

It’s also extremely easy to find extra shifts or overtime if you want to earn extra money, and broadly speaking, flexible working policies are improving all the time.

None of this is guaranteed privately.

That’s why all aspects of every role have to be weighed up carefully.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Bank And Agency Nursing In Terms Of Pay?

Working as a bank or agency Nurse in Ireland has many benefits.

Many choose this way of working to suit their lifestyle as it offers real flexibility over how, when and where you work.

And for some, there are definitely advantages in terms of pay.

Agency Nurses, in particular, can earn much higher rates of pay than Staff Nurses.

And with experience, these rates can get even higher.

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But the reality of agency or bank nursing is a little more complex than it seems. The high rates of pay reflect the fact that these Nurses don’t get any of the benefits a Staff Nurse does – nor any of the financial security.

Agency and bank Nurses are essentially freelancers – and like freelancers, they’re always under pressure to find their next position.

That’s why experience matters so much for agency and bank Nurses.

Building up experiences in different settings, specialisms and locations gives you the know-how and the contacts to always be in high demand.

In that scenario, bank and agency nursing can work perfectly.

But without that experience, it isn’t necessarily as appealing as it might seem.

How Can I Earn Extra Money As A Nurse In Ireland?

Most obviously, Nurses in Ireland can earn extra money by taking on extra shifts or working overtime.

Registering with a nursing agency or bank is a tried and tested way of doing this.

Otherwise, earning extra money beyond incremental pay rises will rely on boosting your qualifications by studying further.

In the HSE, lots of institutions will fund your study and allow you to carry on working at the same time.

Without these extra qualifications and skills, it’s easy to get stuck on the same pay scale – which will mean you’ll never see significant jumps in your pay packet.

Let me know in the comments your thoughts on pay for Irish Nurses - let's chat there!

Oh, and please Like this article to let me know you enjoyed it - thank you!

About the author

  • Mat Martin
    Content Manager

I have a background in visual media and film content. I'm now developing other content delivery skills, and am enjoying talking to people in health and social care who want to contribute and feel passionate about what they do. I’m constantly struck by the quality and feeling in the articles we receive from them, and I aim to ensure the readers are too.

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About the author

  • Mat Martin
    Content Manager

I have a background in visual media and film content. I'm now developing other content delivery skills, and am enjoying talking to people in health and social care who want to contribute and feel passionate about what they do. I’m constantly struck by the quality and feeling in the articles we receive from them, and I aim to ensure the readers are too.

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    • Gilbert Denila 2 months ago
      Gilbert Denila
    • Gilbert Denila
      2 months ago

      Well researched and written.