Celebrating 100 years of women dental professionals



Jane DalgarnoJ Dalgarno

Where did you qualify? And when?   Barnfield College, Luton 1993

NEBDN National Certificate for Dental Surgery Assistants


What attracted you to dentistry?

An opportune newspaper advertisement to work as a dental nurse as part of a Youth Training Scheme, when leaving full time education in 1986.


What are your current responsibilities in the profession?

My main responsibilities involve development of the workforce for Community Dental Services CIC across Bedfordshire, Suffolk, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Essex and Oxford.

I deliver a number of training programmes in collaboration with Health Education England (HEE) and provide mentoring support for colleagues moving into education and management.


Jane’s dental story

I started my career in Dental Nursing in 1986 on the Youth Training Scheme working in General Practice until my move to Community Dental Services (CDS) in 1995. Although prior to statutory registration, with the GDC, I developed my dental knowledge further, passing the National Certificate in November 1993. Since qualifying, I completed and passed post certificates in Oral Health Education, Sedation and Dental Radiography. I gained the Certificate in Education, in Post Compulsory Education, in September 2008 and hold the A1/A2 assessors award. I graduated with a First Class Bachelor of Science, Honours Degree, in Primary Dental Care with Kent University in July 2013. I have taught on a number of primary and post certificate dental nursing courses, including the NEBDN National Diploma, Advanced Apprenticeship, Oral Health Education and Dental Sedation Nursing, delivering these programmes on behalf of CDS, HEE and for an Independent training provider in North London. Likewise, I am Programme Director for HEE Foundation Degree in Advanced Dental Nursing Programme working in collaboration with the University of Kent and Mid Kent College. I have delivered extended duties training to dental nurses in topical fluoride application. I am an examiner for the National Examining Board (NEBDN) for Dental Nurses and sit on the NEBDN Sedation Committee. In addition, I take an active role in the dental nurse faculty meetings run in collaboration with HEE East of England region Dental Workforce Advisor and I represent CDS CIC on the Local Dental Education Committee. In my Workforce Development role, I support outreach placements within CDS CIC for Foundation Degree dental nurse students and have supported apprenticeship dental nursing students. I am immediate past President of the British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN) and current chair, representing dental nurses at a national level. Previously, I have sat on the Dental Nursing Journal Editorial Board and have written columns for the British Dental Nursing Journal, The Probe and Dental Practice. I have chaired the dental nurse’s forum at the Dentistry Show, which included the delivery of a presentation on mentoring and have presented at the BDA conference on the use of skill mix within teams. Similarly, I have spoken at a number of DCP conferences. I am currently working towards an MSc in Advanced and Specialist Healthcare (Applied Dental Professional Practice) with the University of Kent, where my dissertation project will consider the barriers to the application of dental nurse’s oral health extended duties within Primary Dental Care.


What has been your most memorable achievement in the profession?

President of the British Association of Dental Nurses.


What advice would you give your younger self on qualifying?

Embrace every development and networking opportunity.


Which of your mentors have influenced you the most? 

As I have had a number of mentors that have been influential at different stages in my career I feel it is fitting to mention them all:

  1. Christine Janes:

Work colleague and tutor that supported me at primary qualification level. Christine recognised that I had the attributes to teach and gave me the opportunity to develop this area further.

  1. Angie McBain-Heilmann:

Angie has provided encouragement over many years and has inspired me to work at a more strategic level within the dental nursing profession, introducing me to the BADN. Angie continues to provide support in her Dental Workforce Advisory role and is keen to pursue more collaborative working in the interest of the dental profession.

  1. Debbie Reed:

I have known Debbie since my journey into academia in 2009. Debbie Is Head of Centre for Professional Practice at Kent University. Debbie has shown tenacity throughout her own professional journey establishing what can be achieved through hard work and appropriate support. Debbie recognises the need for mentoring at all stages in an individual’s career and had mentored me throughout my degree. Her own enthusiasm in developing others has inspired me to achieve the same. Debbie continues to provide mentorship on my MSc journey.


How have you used mentoring throughout your career?

As part of my own personal and professional development and when providing support to other dental colleagues. I am passionate to see this area developed further, particularly for the DCP professions.

Who We Are:

Dental Mentors UK is run by two experienced dental mentors.
We are:

We believe that all dental professionals would benefit from regularly working with a mentor from a personal as well as a professional point of view. Mentors are experienced dental professionals who can guide and support you throughout your career.

Contact Us