How can dentistry retain its nurses?
A recent survey looks into nursing retention issues in the profession, and possible solutions to keeping experienced knowledgable members of the practice team
A survey has revealed why many dental nurses are leaving the profession – but also potential ways in which they could be encouraged to remain.
Dental nurses are the largest occupational group of dental registrants but in recent years their number has been falling to the point where the situation has been described as a “recruitment crisis”.
Dr Debbie Reed is Chair of FCGDent’s inaugural board of the Faculty of Dental Nursing and Orthodontic Therapy and a Reader and Director of Advanced and Specialist Healthcare in Global and Lifelong Learning at Kent University.
It is not too late for employers, there are steps that can be taken to retain this group of dental nurses
Last year, Dr Reed conducted the Dental Nurse Retention Survey1 which aimed to explore the state of the UK’s dental nurse workforce. The main conclusions of the subsequent report provide valuable insights into the reasons dental nurses want to remain in the profession, as well as some of the factors that may lead them to consider leaving.
The top three factors that encouraged nurses to remain were ‘meaning and growth’, extrinsic rewards, and workplace and environment. The top three reasons why nurses intended to leave were ‘employers
not valuing, recognising or showing appreciation for their contribution’, feeling they were unable to progress in their careers’, and ‘no longer enjoying working as a dental nurse’.
Dr Reed commented: “It is not too late for employers, there are steps that can be taken to retain this group of dental nurses, and the report offers ideas to be used as a starting point for such discussions
1 The Dental Nurse Retention Survey, Dr Reed, Faculty of Dental Nursing and Orthodontic Therapy.