Diabetes educators are health care professionals who apply in-depth knowledge and skills to enable patients to manage daily and future challenges of their diabetes diagnosis. Diabetes Nurse Educators are integral in providing individualized education and promoting behavior change that could ultimately save a patient’s life.
A career as a Diabetes Nurse Educator can be an extremely rewarding career, especially if you enjoy helping people become the best they can be. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 30 million people in the United States has diabetes. In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled. That makes Diabetes Nurse Educators critical to our society today.
What does a Diabetes Nurse Educator do?
Diabetes requires day-to-day knowledge of nutrition, exercise, monitoring, and medication. This makes Diabetes education the cornerstone of diabetes management. Diabetes Nurse Educators give patients the knowledge and skills needed to modify their behavior in order to successfully manage the disease. This may include:
- Empowering and assisting patients to modify lifestyle and adopt healthy self-care behaviors
- Training patients and caregivers to use diabetes devices, such as blood glucose meters, insulin pens and pumps, and continuous glucose monitor
- Teaching problem-solving strategies and skills to help people with diabetes live healthy, active lifestyles
- Providing nutrition education that is individualized for each person and allows people with diabetes to eat “regular” foods
- Working with physicians and other members of a health care team to help manage medication regimens based on physician-directed protocol
- Helping develop emotional coping skills
Diabetes Nurse Educators in Demand
The CDC says one in four people have no idea they have diabetes. This means the demand for treatments and informed healthcare professionals is climbing as more and more patients are diagnosed.
Diabetes educators can be found in a variety of settings: hospitals, physician offices, clinics, home health, wellness programs, to name a few. According to Salary.com, the media annual Diabetes Educator salary is around $76,000. The salary range is usually between $68,743-$84,407 depending on the location.
Becoming a Diabetes Nurse Educator
Diabetes Nurse Educators are RNs. However, there are many ways LPN’s can become an RN, and continue their education to a career in diabetes education. You could take classes on-line, or on campus. You may also be able to get your degree faster by enrolling in an LPN to RN program.
RNs with at least one thousand hours of experience can apply become a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE.) Once the requirements are met, the individual can sit for an exam administered by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators. After successful completion of the exam and in order to maintain their certification, CDEs must continue to take courses each year to earn continuing medical education (CME) credits.
If becoming a Diabetes Nurse Educator sounds interesting to you, contact Athena Career Academy. We can help you select the right program to get you on the road to an exciting career in diabetes Education.