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How to get into the Diabetes education

Endocrine   (4,974 Views | 4 Replies)
by Skdjwilson Skdjwilson (New) New

957 Profile Views; 1 Post

I have been working in postpartum for the last 9 years and I am wanting a change. I am interested in nutrition and diabetes prevention because that is something that I personally struggle with. I have been doing a lot of research for myself and I would like to be able to educate others. It appears to be a hard area of nursing to get into. What would be the best option to get started. I have noticed Capella University has a MSN program for Diabetes education would that be the best way to get started. Or should I start volunteer through the NCBDE to get to the 1000 hours so that I could sit for the CDE exam. I am just needing some guidance

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Mudwoman has 20 years experience and specializes in Certified Diabetes Educator.

374 Posts; 6,977 Profile Views

It is hard to get into, but not impossible.

Join AADE (American Asso of Diabetes Educators). You do not have to certified to join.

Find out if the state you live in has a Diabetes Advisory Council. It is usually a division of the Department of Health in your state. Ask to join and start going to the meetings. Get on a committee.

If you work in a hospital or clinic, they usually want you to be certified and that is where the 1000 hours comes in. You can't sit for your certification test until you have 1000 hours of teaching under your belt. However, as an RN, your scope of practice says you can do diabetes education.

That leads me to this. If you are in an area that has a mentor through the NCBDE, then take advantage of that. If not, then consider putting on some classes. Do some classes at local churches, or organizations. There are clubs that are always looking for a speaker. Have people sign a sheet with their name, address etc. Then you start keeping a log of all the time you spend teaching.

Get the education books from AADE so that you follow that format for teaching. You have to follow up with your "students", so you take the sheet and contact them a week or so after the classes to see how they are doing and see if they have questions. Follow up again in a month or 2. Keep records. Have the person that arranged for you to do the class, sign a paper that you did indeed do a class. If you do a 30 min class for 10 people, that is 300 minutes of "teaching".

Keep looking for job opportunities. I had to take a part time position in diabetes education to get my foot in the door. I did not have a BSN or a CDE at that time. I was so nervous because my budget just didn't fit a part time income. But I wanted this and so I just went for it. It worked out. I wouldn't have thought I could cut my budget as much as I did.

The Capella Education is just going to cost you a bunch of time and money and isn't going to get you a job. Networking with your local pharmacies, Department of Health, Diabetes Advisory Council will eventually get you some leads. Be pro-active. You are going to have to do some Pro-bono teaching for a while.

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urbanRN specializes in ICU.

21 Posts; 1,676 Profile Views

Thank you for the advice. I am also trying to pursue my goals to be a diabetic educator and felt completely lost. Your post gave me some insight on how to get started.

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2 Posts; 333 Profile Views

Does the teaching count if you are putting on classes for free? I thought the 1000 hrs had to be paid hours. Is that correct?

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Mudwoman has 20 years experience and specializes in Certified Diabetes Educator.

374 Posts; 6,977 Profile Views

If you are doing classes for free, you still must document that the classes follow the guidelines of the AADE. AADE provides lots of guidance material. Be sure that people that attend your classes, fill out a sign in sheet with name, address, phone number. Keep really good records.

What doesn't count is if you just do classes and teach what you want to teach. There has to be some structure and all 7 areas of diabetes self care management has to be taught. Up to 400 hours can be donated (free) hours and the NCBDE is allowing up to 600 hours in some cases.

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