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Could you be that nurse this small but famous island, population 50, needs?

Job advertisement promises a holistic band 6 role and (literally) remote working
a street scene in Fair Isle, which is looking to recruit a community nurse

Job ad that promises a holistic band 6 role and (literally) remote working has failed to attract enquiries, but if you’re interested there’s still time…

One of the UK’s smallest and most remote inhabited islands is struggling to find an experienced nurse to live and work there full-time.

NHS Shetland is seeking to recruit a district nurse or nurse practitioner to serve Fair Isle’s population of around 50 people, as well as visitors to the island.

Fair Isle, which lies half way between Orkney and Shetland , is famous for its distinctive knitwear, beautiful scenery and birdlife.

Salary package and benefits

The band 6 role comes with a salary of

Job ad that promises a holistic band 6 role and (literally) remote working has failed to attract enquiries, but if you’re interested there’s still time…

a street scene in Fair Isle, which is looking to recruit a community nurse
Picture: Alamy

One of the UK’s smallest and most remote inhabited islands is struggling to find an experienced nurse to live and work there full-time.

NHS Shetland is seeking to recruit a district nurse or nurse practitioner to serve Fair Isle’s population of around 50 people, as well as visitors to the island.

Fair Isle, which lies half way between Orkney and Shetland, is famous for its distinctive knitwear, beautiful scenery and birdlife.

Salary package and benefits

The band 6 role comes with a salary of between £33,072 to £40,746 plus the option to rent a two-bedroom stone-built house.

The successful applicant would also be eligible for a ‘distant island allowance’ of £1,971 per year and up to £8,000 in relocation costs.

However, there have been no enquiries about the job so far even though it has been advertised for more than a week.

The previous incumbent left in October 2020 and the post has been filled by temporary staff while NHS Shetland redesigned the island’s medical services.

A new nurse would provide planned and emergency assessment and treatment working with GPs based on Shetland and the Scottish Ambulance Service.

As Fair Isle has no social care service, the nurse may also need to provide personal care for islanders.

The coastline of Fair Isle, a community where there is a vacancy for a district nurse
Picture: Alamy

Ideal candidate would have broad experience and an appetite for a challenge

NHS Shetland chief nurse for community Edna Mary Watson said it was difficult to find nurses with the necessary skills and experience who are keen on taking on such a challenge.

‘We are looking for someone with broad clinical skills because they will be the first point of contact for everything from minor injuries to life-threatening illness,’ she said.

‘The challenge is those people tend to be older and near retirement. Nursing training has changed and people tend to train in a narrower field.’

Resilience is also important. ‘Working on an island on your own can be challenging but is also rewarding, because you are the medical service,’ she said.

However, she stressed there were many benefits to island life: ‘This is a lovely, thriving island, with a strong community spirit.’


Further information


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