Objective To investigate the impact of GDC registration and mandatory CPD on dental nurses’ views, job satisfaction and intention to leave. Design Postal/online survey, conducted in parallel with a survey of dental technicians. Setting UK private and NHS practices, community services, dental hospitals. Subjects and methods Representative sample of General Dental Council registrants. Main outcome measures Job satisfaction; intention to leave profession (dependent variable in regression analysis). Results Eleven were ineligible (left profession, moved abroad); 267 (44% of those eligible) responded, all female. Respondents’ mean age was 38.2 years (sd 10.74). The general principle of registration was endorsed by 67%, and compulsory registration by 51%, but the fee level by only 6%. Most nurses did not feel that registration had affected their view of dental nursing as a career (56%), their role (74%) or status (86%) within the dental team, or that CPD helped them to do their job better (76%). Fiftly-six percent were not satisfied with their job, and 22% intended to leave the profession. Intention to leave was predicted by younger age and greater dissatisfaction with physical working conditions and opportunities to progress. Conclusions Widely held criticisms regarding the costs and relevance of registration and CPD coupled with a potentially high level of attrition from the profession suggest a review of the fee and salary structure and greater financial support for CPD is warranted.
- Dental nurses
- Job satisfaction
- Continuing professional development
- Health policy