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Diabetes Nurse

Diabetes nurses, also called diabetes management nurses or diabetes nurse educators, have specialized training to work specifically with diabetic patients. Diabetes is a disease in which the body is unable to create enough insulin, a hormone that helps the body convert sugars. Diabetes nurses are responsible for educating diabetic patients on how to live with their disease, what foods they should eat and how to check their blood sugar levels and self-inject insulin at home. In the past 10 years, diabetes nurses have taken on more and more responsibilities typically associated with an endocrinologist. Diabetes nurses have seen success treating diabetic patients because of a nurse’s emphasis on diabetes education.

Diabetes nurses typically have an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited nursing school, although a minor in nutrition could prove useful, as a diabetes nurse counsels patients concerning their diet. In most cases, you will need to have your Registered Nurse (RN) license, but some employers will accept candidates who are Registered Dieticians (RDs). Still others may prefer licensure in both areas. Becoming bilingual will greatly expand your marketability as a diabetes nurse, as Hispanic Americans are at greater risk for diabetes. Many employers will ask that you become a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) through the American Association of Diabetes Educators .

Salaries for specialized nurses such as diabetes nurses vary by geographical location, education and experience. Entry-level nurse specialists in the Los Angeles area, for instance, earn about $66,000 per year, according to a career column in the Los Angeles Times. A cursory search of job postings throughout the nation turns up salary levels in the $50,000-$60,000 range. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts excellent job prospects for registered nurses (RN) in general, but diabetes nurses may be even more in demand in the future. Type II diabetes, which is linked to obesity, is on the rise in the nation. The Centers for Disease Control says if current trends don’t change, 1 in 3 Americans could develop diabetes at some point in their lifetime.