Certified diabetes educators (CDEs) are health professionals with specialized knowledge of diabetes education and management. Certified Diabetes Educators give patients the knowledge, skills, and necessary tools to manage diabetes and avoid complications.
To_become certified, a diabetes educator must already be a licensed health professional such as a registered nurse, registered dietitian, or registered pharmacist. CDEs are predominately registered dietitians (45.1%) and registered nurses (43.9%). Nearly one-third (30%) of registered nurse CDEs also are nurse practitioners. The CDE workforce is small relative to the need for its services.
Certified Diabetes Educators provide their services in hospitals, physician offices, outpatient settings, pharmacies, managed care organizations, home health care agencies, local community and other settings.
CDEs focus on seven key behaviors that promote successful self-management: Healthy eating, being active, monitoring, taking medication, problem solving, healthy coping and reducing risks. Diabetes educators may educate and supervise other health professionals,
community health workers and other personnel who interface with people with diabetes and their families and care givers
Prospective CDEs must complete:
-two years of professional experience in the underlying profession
-provide proof of 1,000 hours of professional practice experience in diabetes self-management education
– must have current employment as a diabetes educator at least four hours per week
Certification must be renewed once every five years by completing 1,000 hours of diabetes education and continuing education or retaking the exam.
The supply and diversity of CDEs does not meet the need for Diabetes Education Services. The majority of CDEs are located in densely populated urban areas of the State, while people with diabetes are located in both urban and rural communities. About 97% of CDEs in are female.
The majority of CDEs do not provide diabetes education services full-time. About one-third (32%) of CDEs provide 26 or more hours per week of diabetes education services. More than two thirds of CDEs (68%) provide 25 or fewer hours per week of diabetes education services to patients.