Dental Nurse

Fast track role A high priority role with an accelerated joining process.
Service:Surface Fleet
Humanitarian aid
Dental Nurse

The role at a glance

What you’ll do

As a Dental Nurse in the Royal Navy, you’ll be a central part of a professional dental practice – one that travels the world looking after the health of our people. Your team will be led by the Dental Officer, who will rely on your support to deliver first-class dental healthcare everywhere from a shore establishment in the UK, to a portable dental unit in the Middle East. Alongside the rest of the Medial branch, you’ll be central to ensuring our personnel are fighting fit at all times, both on active service abroad and when they’re at home.

You can join as a qualified Dental Nurse or you can join as a Student with GCSEs and get paid to train and study for your Diploma in Dental Nursing and gain registration with the General Dental Council. 

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • Take responsibility for preparing instruments and materials for the Dental Officer, adapting to the wide range of procedures you’ll be tackling every day.
  • Maintain stocks and make appointments, ensuring that the surgery runs smoothly at even the busiest times.
  • Take charge of patient care, both before and during their appointment. That means easing any concerns and ensuring they are fully aware of the procedure. 
  • Prepare the surgery and making sure that everything is clean and tidy – that’s easier said than done, especially at sea in challenging conditions, or even attached to a Royal Marines Unit.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Study for GCSEs, A-Levels, NVQs or even a degree
  • Diploma in Dental Nursing and registration to the General Dental Council if you don't already have it
  • Leadership and management qualifications

Skills you'll develop

  • Learn to adapt your skills to a range of challenging and changeable environments
  • Develop your clinical and administrative skills through world-class training
  • Work in teams, displaying core military values and discipline
  • Adaptability and flexibility to care for your patients wherever you are treating them

Career progression

What you'll need


  • You’ll need to be aged between 17 to 39 
  • Diploma in Dental Nursing (not required for student route of entry) 
  • Registered with the General Dental Council (not required for student route of entry) 
  • You’ll need at least 2 GCSEs at grades A-C (9-4) (or Scottish equivalent), which must include English and Mathematics
  • You must be a United Kingdom national, or Commonwealth citizen, or Dual National. Dual Nationality restrictions do apply
  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 28 (between 17 and 27 if under 18)
  • Pass the Naval Swimming Test

Skills and interests

  • A passion for helping people
  • Great team players who thrive on working with others
  • Enthusiasm for working in highly challenging environments
  • A real sense of adventure
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows:

  • Submit an application

    Once you’ve registered your interest and have satisfied the basic eligibility criteria, you will be sent an online application form

  • Defence Aptitude Assessment (DAA)

    You’ll be tested on: Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning, Work Rate, Spatial Reasoning, Electrical Comprehension and Mechanical Comprehension.
    To prepare, you can practise the DAA

  • Interview

    A formal interview to talk through your suitability for the role. This is normally conducted using your own device over the Shine video platform 

  • Candidate Preparation Course (CPC)

    This is a four-day induction to life in the Royal Navy, which is a pass or fail course. This will include:  

    - Pre-Joining fitness test  
    - Swimming test  
    - Medical test  

  • Start training

    Once you’ve passed a Security Check, you’ll be offered a place at HMS Raleigh

Initial training

Your Royal Navy career begins with 10 weeks’ basic training at HMS Raleigh, a shore base in Torpoint, Cornwall. The discipline, teamwork, organisational, firefighting and weapon handling skills you learn here will stay with you right through your career.

Aim to get yourself as fit as possible before you arrive. You’ll be doing a lot of physical exercise, and you’ll find it much easier if you’re already in shape.

There's also a swimming test, so if you can't swim, make sure you learn by the time you join us.

Professional training

As a student Dental Nurse you will start your training at Lichfield, this is a 15 week programme including theory lessons and clinical placements, as well as keeping military skills up to date.

Qualified you will join a Naval Dental Centre and work with the dental team, learning the processes and working closely with your team.

You will have the opportunity to deploy on a ship or with the Royal Marines and put all your skills into practice in arduous environments.

After this, and throughout your Royal Navy career, you’ll have the opportunity to attend specialist courses run by the Royal Navy.