Would pursing a Psych NP be a suitable path to become a diatebetes educator?

  1. Hello,

    i was curious if I would be able to work as a Psych NP that specialized and was certified with diabetes education and eating disorders (specifically adolescents) or if I should become a Nurse educator and get the certification? I feel like either direction would work, but would like input! Why Psych is I have a degree and Psychology and have worked with the mentally ill for 3 years now but have a great interest in nutrition and how controlled nutrition is the key to a lot of medical issues and would like to cross mental and medical in diabetes and anorexia/bulliema alike.

    thank you!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   chakra_'19
    I forgot to mention my ultimate degree is to have a MSN or DNP
  4. by   elkpark
    Diabetes and psych have nothing to do with each other (professionally, I mean -- psych credentials would not be any kind of advantage professionally in wanting to work in diabetes education). Obviously, eating disorders are considered psychiatric disorders, but the psychiatric professionals usually treat the psychiatric aspects of the disorders and refer people to dieticians for the nutritional component of treatment and recovery.

    Are you already a nurse? If not (or even if you are), and your real interest is nutrition, why don't you just go in that direction professionally instead of going into nursing?
  5. by   chakra_'19
    Thanks for the reply. No I'm not a nurse and I did explore becoming a dietitian but thought that I could be a diabetes educator as a psych nurse because I have different areas of psychairtic nursing that'd I'd like to explore and diabetes/eating disorders would be an area (my preferred) but I guess it really isnt an area?
  6. by   elkpark
    Quote from chakra_nurse16
    Thanks for the reply. No I'm not a nurse and I did explore becoming a dietitian but thought that I could be a diabetes educator as a psych nurse because I have different areas of psychairtic nursing that'd I'd like to explore and diabetes/eating disorders would be an area (my preferred) but I guess it really isnt an area?
    No, "diabetes/eating disorders" isn't an area, as a combination. Diabetes is an endocrine disorder, and eating disorders are psychiatric disorders. Certainly, there are behavioral/emotional/psychosocial aspects to living and coping with diabetes, but psychiatric credentials of any kind are not necessary, or even considered an advantage, to working with diabetics in my experience. You could be a diabetes educator as a psychiatric nurse, but you could be a diabetes educator coming from a wide variety of backgrounds, and becoming a psych NP because you're interested in being a diabetes educator is a very long, expensive, roundabout way of getting to where you say you want to be. You could specialize in working with eating disorders as a psychiatric nurse or a psych NP, but, again, the focus of your practice would be the psychiatric aspects of eating disorders, and eating disorder programs typically include dieticians/nutritionists in the treatment team who address and manage the nutritional aspects of treatment.

    If your primary interest is nutrition, it really sounds like you're trying to fit a round peg into a square hole by focusing on nursing. There is some small attention to nutrition in nursing education and practice, but, in real life, it ends up being a v. minor aspect of nursing practice.

    BTW, the site's TOS, which you agreed to when you joined, specify that we are not allowed to use titles we don't hold so, if you're not a nurse (RN or LPN), you should not be using "nurse" in your user name.

    Best wishes for your journey!
  7. by   chakra_'19
    Thank you your response helped a lot!
  8. by   outsidethebox
    Diabulimia Treatment | Center for Change

    Diabulimia | National Eating Disorders Association

    Here are two clinics for diabulimia. I am not sure if you need both specialties to work here, but contact them and find out what they look for. I am not sure if this is what you are really looking for, but if it is, you never know until you check it out.

    On a side note, I do work with a diabetes educator that is a psych nurse practitioner. However, she works with bariatric surgery patients. She is wonderful, very holistic approach. She is very committed and has spent long hours building her career and it has not been easy.

    Good luck.
  9. by   chakra_'19
    Thank you I will check those links out! do you know some of her struggles? I know I would ultimately like to be a psych np but from what I understand any specialty nurse could be certified in diabetes? What I mean is I'd like to have different areas to practice in and wanted to blend psych and endocrine (diabetes) together. I don't see why I wouldn't be able to it'd just be more schooling which I'm okay with. I planned to work with eating disorders and diabetes patients(have two jobs) simply because of love and am interested in the work and sharing a holistic and nutritional approach alongside drug therapy since that's what I believe in. Hope that make sense

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