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What do macmillan nurses do? - Average nurse salary in the UK

A macmillan nurse reviewing and analyzing patient information on a sheet

How much does a macmillan nurse cost? - A Guide

A macmillan nurse is a specialized nurse who focuses on providing palliative care to patients affected by cancer. Palliative care focuses on the needs, wants, and comfort of individuals (including their families) who have been diagnosed with a life-altering illness. These specialist nurses are involved with complex care issues which other potential carers would need further individual help with. Today, there are over 4,700 macmillan nurses working across the UK. 
Historically, macmillan nurses are primarily associated with cancer however, they now also help patients who suffer from a wide range of other life-limiting diseases, such as heart disease, dementia, and motor neurone disease.  

What do macmillan nurses do?

A Macmillan nurses primary goal is to ensure that individuals facing a life-altering diagnosis can receive the best possible care and support through their journey. Here are some key aspects of what Macmillan nurses do: 

Offer emotional support 

Dealing with such an illness can act as a heavy emotional weight onto the individual or family. To help relieve this, macmillan nurses are trained to offer a compassionate care and guidance during challenging times. 

Manage symptoms

Macmillan nurses specialise in managing symptoms and side effects of illness and treatments. They work closely with patients to alleviate pain, manage discomfort, and boost overall well-being – both mental and physical.

Coordinate care 

These nurses also act as coordinators between the different healthcare professionals involved in a patient’s care. From doctors to therapists, macmillan nurses ensure seamless communication to mitigate stress and guarantee thorough and personalized care.

Educate and provide information 

Macmillan nurses empower patients and their families by providing them with the necessary information about their condition, treatment options, and available support services. This education helps individuals make informed decisions about their healthcare

How much does a macmillan nurse cost?

Macmillan nurses services are free to use and come at no direct cost to the patients. Macmillan cancer support, a charitable organization, funds these nursing positions and has centres all over the UK. This means that individuals can access the expertise of a macmillan nurse without the burden of additional expenses. 

Funding and support:

Macmillan cancer support invests in the training, deployment, and ongoing support of macmillan nurses across the UK. Donations and fundraising activities contribute to ensuring that these essential services remain accessible to those who need them. 


Macmillan nurses operate within various healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, and throughout the community, to ensure their support is easily accessible to those in need. Their presence extends across the United Kingdom, reaching patients however and whenever they need them. 

Average nurses salary:

Nursing is a profession driven by passion, dedication, and a commitment to providing quality healthcare. While the core rewards of nursing are beyond measure, understanding the financial aspect is essential. 

Factors affecting nurse salaries: 

It is crucial to understand that nurses across the UK are paid differently according to these few factors: 

1) Experience and expertise

The level of experience and specialization significantly impacts a Nurses earning potential. Nurses with advances degrees or specialized certification will often receive higher salaries 

2) Geographical location 

Location plays a vital role in determining a Nurse’s salary. Amounts may vary between regions due to cost-of-living differences and the local demand for healthcare professionals 

3) Employment setting

Whether employed by the NHS, private healthcare institutions, nursing agencies, or other settings, the work environment and employer can influence a Nurse’s pay drastically 

According to recent data and insights, the average salary for Nurses in the UK ranges between about £25,000 to £45,000 per year. It is important to note, however, that this figure encompasses a wide spectrum, reflecting the diversity in roles, responsibilities, and experiences levels within the nursing profession.  
The BBC reports that NHS nurses in the UK typically earn a starting salary of around £24,907 per year. With experience, this figure can rise, and additional bonuses may be available depending on the role and responsibilities undertaken 

Notable additions:

Nurses working through nursing agencies or in specialized roles may receive different compensation arrangements. It's essential for nurses to explore these opportunities and understand the associated pay scales. Overtime opportunities, along with additional benefits such as pension plans and healthcare coverage, contribute to the overall compensation package for nurses.

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