What Is A Diabetes Management Nurse?
Diabetes is a condition that prevents a person’s body from either producing enough insulin or absorbing enough insulin. Diabetes management nurses are nurses who are skilled at assisting patients who have this condition and helping them to manage their illness and live a productive life. Relaying information between the various people involved, such as the patient, the patient’s family, and other health care professionals, means that communication is an important part of the job.
Nature of the Work/Duties
According to discovernursing.com you will perform the following tasks as a diabetes management nurse:
- Help patients monitor their blood sugar
- Minimize diabetic nerve damage
- Give nutritional therapy
- Teach proper diet, exercise, and lifestyle
Apart from the healthcare aspect of this job you will also be required, to a large degree, to educate the patient as well as everyone else who is involved in the care of the patient about diabetes in general, about their particular condition, and about how to control and manage their condition in a way that will not interfere with their lifestyle and functioning. Diabetes cannot be cured at this point in time, but it can be controlled quite easily and it is your job to help your patients learn how to keep the condition reigned in.
There are a number of different areas in which a diabetes management nurse can find employment, including hospitals, physicians’ offices, and schools to name a few. Essentially you can work in any setting where diabetics who need help in managing their condition can be found. In schools, for example, you will be faced with children suffering from the condition. Children are often far less careful than adults, and so your role of assisting them in managing their condition may be more intensive. Employment options are fairly diverse, and, like all other jobs in health care, they are also guaranteed to provide you with job security. As we start to learn more about diabetes and how to manage it, more and more nursing professionals with special skills in this area of nursing will be required, thereby increasing your employment opportunities.
Diabetes Management Nurse Requirements
The following requirements are involved in becoming a diabetes management nurse:
- You must earn an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
- You must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)
- Experience as an RN will, at this point, be useful
- You must then earn you Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
- Following that you must work at least 500 hours in diabetic medicine
- This will allow you to get your Advanced Diabetes Management Certification (BC-ADM) through the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and become an Advanced Diabetes Nurse.
Consequently it is a line of work that requires many years of study as well as fair amount of actual work experience before you can be said to be fully certified.
A diabetes management nurse needs to have many of the same characteristics as other nurses, including:
- Compassion: You will need to communicate to your patients the idea that you care for them and that you are committed to them and their well being.
- Patience: Working with other people requires a large amount of patience.
- Stability: You cannot be someone who will give up on a patient or spend too many days off work.
- Attention to Details: Details can mean life or death for a diabetic patient, so the ability to close attention to every detail is a strongly recommended personality trait.
- A Tough Personality
- Critical Thinking Skills: Nurses are required to assess patients for disorders and make decision regarding what the best treatment course to take may be.
There are a number of educational requirements to consider when deciding to become a diabetes management nurse. To start off with it is interesting to note that any nurse can work in diabetes management. Consequently you will be able to do this job with just an LPN license and educational qualification. However if you get an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree so you qualify for an RN license you will find that it is far easier to qualify for positions in this particular field of nursing. In addition, if you go as far as earning your master’s degree in nursing you can take the Advanced Diabetes Management Certification exam and become certified as a diabetes management nurse. Taking specialized classes covering things like the endocrine system and nutrition will be helpful at any point during your diabetes management career.
To be a diabetes management nurse you can be either an LPN or an RN, but you will need to have a license in order to be either:
- Graduate form an LPN or RN training program.
- Apply to your state board of nursing for an LPN or RN license.
- Once your application for licensure has been approved you can set a date to write the NCLEX-PN exam (for LPNs) or the NCLEX-RN exam (for RNs) through Pearson VUE, the company which is in charge of administering the licensing examinations.
- Passing the exam will earn you licensure form the state board of nursing for you state.
- Your license will need to be renewed periodically depending on the rules in your state.
How To Become A Diabetes Management Nurse
Training, Advancement And Other Qualifications
In order to become a diabetes management nurse you will need to engage in highly advanced training. Without intimate knowledge of the job and an ability to fully understand how diabetes works and what the best treatment routes are, you will not be able to fill your role adequately. Among other things you will need to receive specialized training in the endocrine system. The endocrine system basically refers to the glands throughout your body. Specifically you will need to have knowledge about the endocrine gland that produces and controls the insulin levels in the human body. There is also room for advancement in this line of work. Many Diabetes Nurses go on to become advocates for diabetes awareness and diabetes educators. A large part of fighting diabetes lies in education about the topic.
Source An Accredited Education Program
It is absolutely essential that the program you attend in order to receive your training as an LPN or RN is in fact accredited. Attending a program that is not accredited is likely to represent a waste of your time and of your money. You can find out if a program is accredited in the following ways:
- Your state board of nursing will be able to provide you with information on specific programs you are interested in or just on accredited programs in your state in general.
- The schools themselves should be open about their accreditation status, but it is always better to check the claims they make with the board of nursing for your state.
- Current LPNs and RNs will be able to point you in the direction of accredited schools of nursing.
Earn Your Associate’s Degree
Although you can become a diabetes management nurse as an LPN, which does not require an associate’s degree, it is still better to strive towards a higher level of education as this will introduce you to a wider variety of employment opportunities. To earn your associate’s degree:
- Create a short list of the accredited nursing programs in your area that offer associate’s degrees and that also meet your personal requirements.
- Apply for at least 3 schools, remembering to adhere to the specific application standards of each different school.
- Choose the school that best suits your needs form among those that accept you.
- Complete the necessary course requirements, including the theoretical and clinical aspects.
- Graduating from the program will earn you your associate’s degree in nursing and allow you to become a diabetes management nurse.
Obtain Your Licensure
There is no specific license you can get to be a diabetes management nurse, only a certification exam that you can pass to stand out as an expert in that particular field. The only licensure that you really need to be a diabetes management nurse is your LPN license or your RN license. Remember that an RN license will open more doors for you in terms of employment in this area. In addition to this you can become certified as a diabetes management nurse. To do this you must take the Advanced Diabetes Management Certification exam. Before you can take the exam you must work at least 500 hours in diabetic medicine. You will then be eligible to get your Advanced Diabetes Management Certification (BC-ADM) through the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE).
Online/Distance Education Programs
Online or distance education programs may seem like attractive options, but you need to be careful when choosing these types of programs. This is because you training will consist of two main parts:
- A theoretical aspect
- A clinical aspect
Clearly you cannot complete clinical training online or through a correspondence course, and you will often be required to find a facility for yourself where you can intern and get the required training. However the theory portion of your training can be completed online, which could be extremely helpful in that it will relieve your stress. You will not need to give up your job in order to study, and often these online programs are cheaper. You must simply remember to find out where you can do your clinical training. In addition you must also make sure that the school is properly accredited.
The job outlook for diabetes management nurses is good for two main reasons:
- This is an advanced field in nursing, an industry expected to grow more quickly than any other industry (at rate of about 26% from 2012 to 2020).
- There is a growing number of people in the US who suffer from diabetes, meaning that more and more diabetes management nurses are required to meet the demand for skilled healthcare professionals.
Job security is one of the more compelling reasons to become involved in the healthcare industry in general. Diabetes management nurses also have general training to be RNs, which means that with a qualification of this kind you will also be able to find work in facilities where a specialization is not required, as well as in diabetes management nursing.
According to simplyhired.com, the following is true of diabetes management nursing jobs: “The average salary for diabetes management nurse jobs is $54,000. Average diabetes management nurse salaries can vary greatly due to company, location, industry, experience and benefits”. In addition to a certain degree your gender can also play a role in how much you earn. The level of your qualification and the school from which you graduated with that qualification is also considered by potential employers when deciding your salary. The average salaries for jobs with similar titles are as follows:
- Nurse educator: $56,000
- Nurse specialist: $54,000
- Community health nurse: $45,000
- Nurse practitioner: $60,000
- Public health informatics/GIS specialist: $47,000
- Medical surgical registered nurse: $65,000
- Clinical nurse: $48,000
- Care management representative: $33,000
- PT clinic director and physical therapist outpatient ortho: $134,000
There are a number of reasons why becoming a diabetes management nurse is an attractive option. The salary, for one thing, is fairly good. In addition, as compared to many other nursing specialties, the educational requirements involved in becoming a diabetes management nurse are not very intensive. It is also one of the nursing careers that you can become involved in while you are still an LPN, although in order to become certified you will need to earn a master’s degree in nursing which requires an RN license. Diabetes is an exciting field to become involved in at present as there have been many breakthroughs in the industry recently.