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NEBDN National Diploma
in Dental Nursing:

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What's Involved?

The NEBDN National Diploma in Dental Nursing is a General Dental Council (GDC) recognised dental nurse qualification which covers all outcomes described within the GDC Preparing to Practice document.

The purpose of this dental nurse diploma is to prepare trainee dental nurses in the foundations of dental nursing so they can demonstrate the highest standards in terms of knowledge, skills and professional attributes.

This syllabus is based on the GDC registration requirements for dental nurses and the national occupational standards for dental nursing published by Skills for Health. It sets out the knowledge, skills and behavioural requirements that should be developed and demonstrated. These are set out in terms of professional knowledge and competence.

Assessments during training and in the NEBDN Examination will cover any of the knowledge and performance competencies set out in this curriculum – indeed, most if not all of them will be assessed at some stage of training or in the examination.


The qualification is assessed using a formative workplace assessment, the Record of Experience (ROE), which enables the workplace team to become an integral part of the training of the trainee dental nurse.

The summative assessment comprises a written (Single Best Answer (SBA) and Extended Matching Questions (EMQ)) and practical (Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)) component aimed at assessing knowledge and decision making to demonstrate trainee dental nurses' understanding and competence. The summative assessment also adheres to current educational best practice. The assessment methods for each of the knowledge and performance competencies set out in this curriculum are aligned to each competency.


General Dental Council Overarching learning outcomes Upon registration with the GDC the Registrant should be able to:

  • Practise safely and effectively, making the high quality long term care of patients the first concern

  • Recognise the role and responsibility of being a registrant and demonstrate professionalism through their education, training and practice in accordance with GDC Guidance

  • Demonstrate effective clinical decision making

  • Describe the principles of good research, how to access research and interpret it for use as part of an evidence based approach to practice

  • Apply an evidence-based approach to learning, practice, clinical judgment and decision making and use critical thinking and problem solving skills

  • Accurately assess their own capabilities and limitations, demonstrating reflective practice, in the interest of high quality patient care and act within these boundaries

  • Recognise the importance of lifelong learning and apply it to practice

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