How to train to be a diabetic nurse educator

Updated March 23, 2017

Diabetic nurse educators are registered nurses who educate patients about their condition. They teach diabetes patients how to monitor their blood sugar at home, take their medication properly, give themselves insulin injections and plan a diet that will help manage their diabetes. Diabetic nurse practitioners may also order lab tests and prescribe medication for diabetic patients.

Attend a college or nursing school to earn an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor's degree in the science of nursing (BSN) and pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse.

Attend continuing education programs related to diabetes management and education. All registered nurses must earn a certain number of continuing education hours each year in order to maintain their licenses, though the number of hours and the areas of study vary from state to state. Organizations like the American Association of Diabetes Educators offer continuing education programs for diabetic nurse educators.

Earn a master's degree in the science of nursing (MSN) to become a nurse practitioner specialising in diabetes management. A master's degree is not required for you to become a diabetic nurse educator, but nurse practitioners can play a bigger role in the management of patients with diabetes and they may have more job opportunities. They also earn larger salaries.

Find a job working as a nurse with diabetic patients. Completion of diabetes-related education programs will make you more attractive to potential employers. Consider working in the office of general practitioner or endocrinologist or in a clinic or hospital setting that provides care for diabetic patients. You will continue your education on the job.

Become certified as a diabetes educator by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators. Certification is voluntary, not mandatory, but it will help you get a job as a diabetic nurse educator and it ensures that you have the proper training for the job. You must have two years of experience as a registered nurse, including at least 1,000 hours working as a diabetic nurse educator, and at least 15 hours of continuing education related to diabetes management in order to sit for the certification exam.

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About the Author

Mike Andrews is a freelance writer and serial entrepreneur focused on small-business and entrepreneurship for average people. He holds a bachelor's degree in biblical studies and a master's degree in theology and has appeared in a wide array of print and online periodicals including "HiCall," "Mature Living" and "Caregivers Home Companion."