I agree with the other respondents that the road to becoming a CDE is a long one and the American Assoociation of Diabetes Educators (AADE) is the best place to start.
Being a med/surg nurse caring for patients with diabetes will meet the AADE guideline for discipline. However the 1000 hours of DSME is very specific. General nursing care for people with diabetes will not qualify you.
Here are the qualification requirements that can be found on the AADE website.
After meeting the Discipline requirement AND before applying for the Examination, both of the following professional requirements must be met in United States or its territories:
a) Minimum of 2 years (to the day) of professional practice experience in the discipline under which the individual is applying for certification (examples: if an individual applies for certification as a registered nurse, 2 years of experience working/volunteering as a registered nurse is required; if an individual applies as a registered dietitian, 2 years of experience working/volunteering as a registered dietitian is required).
b) Minimum of 1000 hours of DSME experience with a minimum of 40% of those hours (400 hours) accrued in the most recent year preceding application. In meeting the hourly requirement*, professional practice experience is defined as responsibilities, within the past 4 years (maximum window), that include the direct provision of DSME, as defined by NCBDE. (See definition of DSME).
I think you best bet would be, connecting with a CDE and looking for diabetes education pecific job. (It would be very difficult to get you r 1,000 hours in the time limit working part-time or covering for a CDE). Many education centers, including my own in Ocala, FL are looking for educators. These centers are willing to train you and help you get your DSME teaching hours requirement. The expectation is usually that you will sit for your CDE exam within five years of taking the position. HTese educator centers are happy to act as your mentor and bring you into the rewarding world of diabetes education- and WE NEED YOU, if this is your area of interest!
Please feel free to contact me if I can help in any way.