WCCC’s Dental Assisting Program Awarded NELDA Certification

Warren County Community College’s Dental Assisting students are now eligible to obtain national certification through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). The Dental Assisting program at WCCC was recently awarded National Entry Level Dental Assisting (NELDA) certification by the Dental Assisting National Board. WCCC is the only school to hold this distinction in Warren, Morris, or Sussex counties.

This 579-hour DANB accepted Dental Assisting program is held on the Washington Campus where students attend classes three days per week and are assigned to a participating dental office two days per week. The curriculum includes head and neck anatomy, dental anatomy/tooth morphology, preventive dentistry and nutrition, patient care/preparation, dental examination, infection control, restorative dentistry and special procedures, business office management, and accounts payable/receivable. The program also includes the New Jersey State Radiology Certification that prepares students for their New Jersey State License in Dental Radiography.

DANB’s NELDA certification is composed of three component examinations that graduates of the WCCC Dental Assisting program are eligible to sit for: Radiation Health and Safety (RHS); Infection Control (ICE); and Anatomy,  Morphology, and Physiology (AMP). Students must pass all three component exams in order to be eligible for NELDA certification.

Earning NELDA certification is a stepping stone on the DANB certification ladder. After earning NELDA certification, students are encouraged to earn DANB’s Certified Dental Assisting (CDA) certification after working 3500 hours (approx. 2 years) chairside. NELDA certified students have already take two of the required CDA exam components (RHS & ICE) and would only need to take the General Chairside exam (GC) in order to obtain the CDA credential.

WCCC’s graduates have historically maintained a 98% passing rate on the RHS examination, with 100% of the 2014 and 2015 graduates passing the examination on first attempt.  Marianne Van Deursen, the Assistant Dean who oversees the Dental Assisting program, attributes this continued success to a student-focused curriculum that supports the individual needs of each student in a very comprehensive and rigorous academic and clinical training program.

As a result, noted Van Deursen, graduating students from the program are finding jobs easily in the Warren, Hunterdon, and Sussex county area.

Interested students should contact Marianne Van Deursen at 908-835-2430 to schedule an interview for the Fall 2016 program, which runs from September through April. Financial Assistance may be available for qualified individuals.

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