How to Become a Diabetes Nurse

How to Become a Diabetes Nurse

Diabetes is one of the major conditions that affect millions of people around the United States, and adequate medical care is required for the treatment and management of the condition. Diabetes nurses are registered nurses that care for patients with diabetes and help them manage their condition.

What does a diabetes nurse do?

Diabetes nurses provide care, treatment, and education to a variety of patients that suffer from all types of diabetes. They help patients control and manage their conditions and they provide education and demonstrations on testing blood sugar levels and administering insulin. Diabetes nurses examine patients, obtain medical history, and administer medications. They record their observations and report problems to physicians. They also educating patients about proper nutrition and developing individual nutrition plans. They also discuss and recommend lifestyle changes that will help patients manage their conditions. Diabetes nurses often help diabetic patients minimize other effects of diabetes such as nerve damage. Many diabetes nurses strive to raise public awareness about diabetes and the potential risk factors.

What kind of training does a diabetes nurse need?

Diabetes nurses must become registered nurses by completing a diploma, associate degree, or bachelor degree in nursing. Some diabetes nurses complete master degrees to become clinical nurse specialists. All nursing programs provide intensive classroom and laboratory instruction and clinical experiences. Many prospective diabetes nurses complete internships in healthcare settings that focus on diabetes to gain practical experience. All registered nurses must become licensed by passing the National Council Licensing Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). Most diabetes nurses must also become certified as a diabetes specialist. Certification requirements include minimum experience and passing the Diabetes Management Board Certification examination. Diabetes nurses must complete regular continuing education to maintain their licenses and certifications and keep their skills up to date.

What are the prospects for a career as a diabetes nurse?

Employment of all registered nurses is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 23% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The growing and aging population and increased prevalence of diabetes will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be excellent, especially for diabetes nurses with extensive experience. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace diabetes nurses that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do diabetes nurses make?

As of December 2009, the average annual salary for diabetes nurses is $53,000; average annual diabetes nurse salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as a diabetes nurse is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in providing care for patients suffering from diabetes. Diabetes nurses must have a solid understanding of the types of diabetes and a variety of treatment options. Patience, determination, critical thinking, sensitivity, good judgment, and good problem solving skills are essential. Diabetes nurses must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to work as part of a team.

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