A University of Hull student is the first in the Yorkshire region to graduate with a new foundation degree for qualified dental nurses.
The university is only the second in the country to offer the qualification.
Avril Ware, 24, is the first student in the region to attain the Foundation Degree in Post-qualifying Dental Nursing Practice. She graduated as part of the university’s winter degree ceremonies in January. The qualification is of national significance as the professional profile and role of dental nursing increases.
Increasingly, the role of the dental nurse is being recognised as essential in supporting modern dental services. With the recent introduction of professional registration with the General Dental Council, dental nurses are required to maintain their continuing professional development. The foundation degree offers qualified dental nurses the chance to extend and enhance their skills in a range of disciplines.
Avril has successfully juggled her studies with her work as a practice manager for ADP Dental in Longhill, east Hull.
She said: ‘Dental nursing is becoming much more respected as a career and qualifications like this really do help raise the profile.
‘I am now applying to dental school and places are really competitive – this foundation degree will help me stand out from the other applicants.
‘I would recommend the course to others who are looking to increase their knowledge and skills in dental nursing or like me want to take the next step into areas such as dental therapy.’
The Foundation Degree is available to dental nurses who hold the Certificate in Dental Nursing (or equivalent) and aims to develop and support their work and continuing professional development.
The University of Hull offers the qualification over two years on a full time basis or part time up to four years and of which a variety of pathways are available to include areas of extended practice such as dental radiography, dental sedation and special care.
The University also offers modules such as Dental Practice Management, Dental Radiography, Dental Sedation, Special Care Dental Nursing, Fluoride Application for Dental Nurses and Supervising and Mentoring Practice, which are taught in a variety of ways including online delivery to fit into busy working schedules.
Lecturer Victoria Hewson said: ‘We are extremely proud to be the first university in the Yorkshire and Humber region to have a student graduate with this qualification.
‘Avril has worked extremely hard and is a shining example of what students can achieve here at Hull. We hope other dental nurses see this as an inspiration to further enhance their own professional development.
‘The course is growing in popularity, with 18 students now studying towards their foundation degree, and we believe it offers the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes required to develop the role of the current and future dental nurse.’