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How to secure a band 7 nursing job

Published on: 18 Oct 2022

How to prepare for a band 7 job and the questions nurses can expect in a band 7 job interview.

Secure a band 7 nurse job

Many nurses will move from band 5 to band 6 during the course of their nurisng career but the leap up to band 7 is a major step, and one nurses can spend years trying to make.

Achieving it takes planning, determination, knowledge, as well as gaining the right skills and experience.

Here we look at the different types of band 7 nursing jobs, what you can expect as band 7 nurse salary, and finally what you will be asked in a band 7 job interview.

What are band 7 nursing roles?

There are many different types of band 7 nurses. They include:

•    Advanced nurse practitioners
•    Clinical nurse specialists
•    Ward managers and hospital bed managers
•    Some senior mental health posts in the community
•    Some specialist, disease-specific nursing roles in primary care

The responsibilities are a jump from band 6 and can involve conducting detailed assessments, making diagnoses, prescribing medicines and managing large teams and budgets.

> Search for band 7 nursing jobs

How much is a band 7 nurse salary?

The skills required demand extra study and experience in the relevant field. Salaries start at £40,057 rising to £45,839 for those with more than five years’ experience.

How do you know you are ready for a band 7 job?

Generally nurses will have completed several years at band 6 before moving on, but University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust deputy chief nurse Sarah Herbert says there are no rules.

‘It varies from individual to individual. Some will be ready more quickly than others as everyone develops their skills at different rates,’ she says.

‘Some people have that innate ability to step up, it just comes naturally, while others take a little longer and need more support to hone the skills.

‘What is important is credibility. You need experience of working clinically and dealing with patients, and you need to be able to articulate what you expect of your staff every day.’

Ms Herbert says another consideration is what commitments you have in your personal life.

‘Flexible working is encouraged. We have band 7 nurses who takes time out for various reasons and returns to work and are able to flex to balance life and work. It can be done part-time, but it is important to recognise that if you are going to lead you need to be visible and present with the team.’

> Search band 7 nurse jobs

Training and qualifications for band 7 nurses

For roles such as advanced nurse practitioner, masters-level training will be required. But there are plenty of roles where you may just be expected to demonstrate that you have been working at masters level and not necessarily have a masters, says Ms Herbert.

‘It can be difficult for nurses to find the time and funding to do a master’s,’ she says.

‘Leadership courses or courses specific to the field you are in can be helpful. You can also demonstrate through the work you have done as a band 6 nurse, such as leading a change project, that you have worked at that level and are ready for the next step.’

Some NHS organisations run in-house leadership and management training, while organisations like the RCN and Florence Nightingale Foundation run courses targeted at those looking to take the step up to band 7.

>Search for band 7 nursing jobs

How to prepare for a band 7 nurse job

•    Plan
Work out what training and qualifications are needed for band 7 jobs

•    Use your appraisal
Make your desire to progress known so you can address your clinical development needs with your manager

•    Buddying and secondments
Put yourself forward for initiatives and opportunities in your organisation

•    Be flexible
Accept that you may have to move geographical or clinical area to achieve your ambitions

•    Network
Speak to colleagues already in band 7 roles and ask them how they progressed to a band 7 job

•    Get advice
Seek careers coaching to help you progress to a band 7 nursing job

> Find a band 7 nursing job

What to expect at a band 7 job interview

The final step to becoming a band 7 nurse is the job interview. Doing your research before an interview is essential. Talk to people working in the area you applying for, or if you already work in that area, talk to colleagues to gain fresh perspectives.

Many band 7 vacancies will involve a written test beforehand to explore your clinical skills. During a band 7 job interview the panel will be looking to assess your ability to stick to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) code and NHS values in your day-to-day practice. You are likely to be asked scenario-based questions, such as how you would deal with a particular situation.

There will be a balance between managerial and clinically-themed questions depending on the type of role you are applying for. You will also be expected to relate it to real-life experiences you have had in your nursing career, such as dealing with the poor performance of a member of your team or how you dealt with conflict.

Ms Herbert says that is a key question – whether you are working as a specialist nurse as part of a multi-disciplinary team or managing staff.

‘You need to be able to demonstrate you can handle difficult situations and help achieve good resolutions,’ she says.

You are also likely to be asked about how you have improved a service, and your motivations for applying. Above all, you must be ready to explain and demonstrate how you can champion high-quality care.

‘A question I always ask when interviewing is “what does quality look like?’”or “how can quality care be achieved?”’ says Ms Herbert.

‘The person’s ability to recognise and articulate this tells you a lot about whether they are ready for a band 7 role.’

> Search our Band 7 nurse vacancies

Nick Evans is a health journalist

This is an abridged version of the article Band 7 nurse roles: is it time you stepped up to the next level? Which was first published in Nursing Standard 

Read more careers articles on Nursing Standard