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Top marks for NES Dental Education Centre trainee dental nurse


Aberdeen Dental Education Centre (ADEC) student, Alexandra Purvis has achieved the highest mark in Scotland (90%) in her Professional Development Award (PDA) in Dental Nursing. Awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), approximately 250 students across all SQA training centres (internal and external to NHS Education for Scotland (NES)) undertook the final written assessment paper in December 2018. All students who attended ADEC passed their final examination. 

Students are employed as Trainee Dental Nurses and the majority work in general dental practices. They must undertake mandatory training towards achieving their professional qualification. Upon successful completion dental nurses are eligible to register with the General Dental Council to practice as a dental nurse. 

Alexandra, who is employed by Dr Kenny Jones, owner of Arduthie Dental Practice in Stonehaven said:

“It was a fantastic surprise to hear that I had gained the highest mark in Scotland when the results came out last week. Studying the SVQ and PDA in Dental Nursing was the ideal way for me to return to work following a career break to bring up my family. It enabled me to work part time, whilst studying to gain a professional qualification.

“My colleague and I, who took the course at the same time, have been fortunate to receive excellent training and support from our employer, Kenny Jones, and the rest of the team at Arduthie Dental Practice. The team of tutors at ADEC gave us constant encouragement and guided us through the course.”

Dr Kenny Jones added:

“Dental nursing requires a great deal of skill, knowledge and a passion for care to be done well. It takes at least two years of learning on the job as well as studying through Aberdeen Dental Education Centre and at home.

“I know the amount of work my trainee nurses have put in to their studies over the last two years is considerable and to pass the PDA in dental nursing exam is a great achievement.

“I am very proud of all my staff and the quality of care that they bring to the practice in their own way. We, in turn, are all delighted that Alexandra managed to attain the highest mark in Scotland.” 

Caroline Taylor, Lead Dental Care Professional Tutor, ADEC, NHS Education for Scotland (NES) commented:

“Alexandra has been a remarkable student throughout the programme, who performed to a consistently high standard in assessments leading up to her final paper in December 2018. This achievement and recognition is very well deserved.

“My team and I are extremely proud of her and all our students’ achievements. We have supported them since their training programme commenced in September 2017 when they attended ADEC on a fortnightly day release basis. Two students also had babies during the programme and both returned immediately to their studies, showing great determination and dedication in achieving their professional qualification.” 

Dental Nurse Training is delivered by the NES Dental Care Professionals (DCP) workstream team of Lead DCP Tutors and Dental Nurse Tutors across five dental education centres in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. It delivers pre and post registration education and training to support the development of the dental team to provide high quality and safe patient care. 

Dental nursing is a lifelong career with the opportunity for nurses to return to any NES dental education centre to continue to develop and extend their professional scope of practice through a range of post registration programmes delivered by NES. 


Reference: PR2019-003

Further Information From

Mary-Jo O’Brien, Corporate Communications, NHS Education for Scotland (NES) email


Note to Editors
NHS Education for Scotland (NES) is a national special health board working to provide education, training and workforce development for those who work in and with NHSScotland. At any time, this means NES is responsible for over 6,500 trainee healthcare professionals and supports the recruitment of professionals into Scotland.