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Nursing Careers: Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)

by Greg Cryns


            While many people become nurses because they enjoy providing direct care to patients, others prefer to work in a field that focuses on patient education.  Becoming a certified diabetes educator (CDE) will allow you to do just that.

            Obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States.  As a result, the numbers of people suffering from type II diabetes is on the rise.  In order to help patients 

deal with the many lifestyle changes that accompany this disease, nurses are needed as educators. When youíre a certified diabetes educator, youíre taking part in a career that is in demand.  You can choose to work in hospital settings, public health departments, or for private physicians.

            Diabetes educators can work one-on-one with patients to teach them how to use insulin, use blood sugar meters, and take other medications properly.  Educators also help patients to make changes to their diet.

            While you may enjoy working one-on-one with patients, you can also enjoy a career in public health.  This may include some work with individuals as well as sponsoring community education events and making presentations.

            This certification is obtained from the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE).  In order to become a certified diabetes educator youíll need to work in the field of diabetes education for at least two years and have at least 1,000 hours of diabetes education practice.

            Youíll also have to complete an exam in order to become certified if you meet the prerequisites.  These exams are given throughout the year all over the country.

            Once you become a certified diabetes educator, youíll also need to participate in continuing education to keep your certificate current.  The certification board will help you to find local courses that meet the requirements.

            While becoming a certified diabetes educator actually takes a couple of years, itís well worth the investment.  Diabetes educators will have no shortage of work opportunities and can work in a variety of settings.  Youíll never be out of work and you wonít have to be bored with the same thing day after day.

            If youíre interested in working in the field of health education specifically related to diabetes, you may want to consider this exciting and in-demand field.  Online, youíll find all the information you need to apply for certification and get started with your new and exciting career!



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