8 Responses

  1. June S.
    June S. January 30, 2014 at 5:51 am | | Reply

    I loved reading this post, and thank you for it. I have lived with Type I diabetes for 41 years and am complication-free. My endocrinologist has told me, time and again, that she feels I would make a fine CDE. Unfortunately, I do not have a nursing degree, nor an MSW, nor am I a registered dietician. I am still dreaming of becoming a CDE, though I am in my late 50′s. I am hoping I can become a dietician, but wonder if I will ever be able to accrue the necessary 2,000 hours. In any case, a point I would like to make here is that while I have met a handful of CDE’s who really seem to understand what it is like to really live with this disease, I have met many who do not. Yet they were certified by the AADE. I am not saying that just living with Type I diabetes successfully should be enough to make a person a CDE, but this disease is so very complex that only those truly qualified to advise patients (and their caregivers, if they are children, or their spouses, if they are married) should ever endeavor to enter the field of diabetes education.

  2. Sheryl Traficano
    Sheryl Traficano January 30, 2014 at 8:36 am | | Reply

    Thank you for this article. I hope you’ll allow me, as NCBDE’s CEO, to provide some clarification/information on some of the details about certification that were discussed in the article. NCBDE understands the increasing need for educators to support a growing population of people with diabetes, but also feel it’s important to balance access with ensuring a level of quality to that educational process. The organization has made a number of changes over the past few years regarding eligibility that people might not be aware of and we hope people will visit our web site ( for the most current information. Here are some important facts: 1) the professional practice aspect of the eligibility requirements for the CDE credential is not 2000 hours of diabetes education within 2 years. It’s 2 years of general experience (not necessarily diabetes) and a minimum of 1000 hours doing diabetes education over a maximum window of 4 years. Of that 1,000 hours, a minimum of 400 hours should be within the last year. Lastly, the 2 years and 1000 hours do not need to be at the same time, but can be. 2) Volunteer and employment diabetes education hours can be used. 3) A unique qualifications pathway has recently been developed for those health professionals who do not qualify under one of the many disciplines/licenses identified in the standard pathway.
    On the topic of licensure, NCBDE is not opposed to licensure of diabetes educators for health professionals who do not hold the CDE credential if a state wishes to implement a licensing process. Rather, the current model that is being used when promoting licensure includes a pathway where a health professional can become licensed without passing a psychometrically valid examination verifying their diabetes knowledge. Certification is certainly a standard we’d like all eligible diabetes educators to pursue. However, people with diabetes need to be assured that an individual who is licensed by their state as a diabetes educator has proven that they have a certain level of diabetes knowledge. With a pathway that allows licensure without an examination, the current model does not address this need. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

  3. Amy
    Amy January 30, 2014 at 1:25 pm | | Reply

    Sheryl – thank you for the additional information. I think the ‘unique pathways’ is a good start. Frankly, I think the diabetes community is looking for a certification for non-health (formally) educated experts. I know there are constraints about offering that type of certification, but it can be done. The first person perspective is so valuable to us PWDs, NCBDE would be re-miss and is certainly missing an opportunity to meet this need.

  4. Jolene
    Jolene January 31, 2014 at 7:07 am | | Reply

    Thanks for taking the time to make the clarifications. I agree with Amy. There needs to be a path to CDE that does not require a nursing and/or nutrition degree. PWDs and their caregivers have so much diabetes experience without a medical degree. I have a post graduate degree, but I would change careers in a heartbeat to be a CDE if it did not require me getting another postgraduate degree.

  5. Sheryl Traficano
    Sheryl Traficano February 3, 2014 at 8:18 am | | Reply

    Thanks Amy and Jolene for your comments. I’ll be sure to share those with the Board of Directors.

  6. Maria K. Lloyd
    Maria K. Lloyd February 4, 2014 at 6:57 am | | Reply

    Last week, I was able to sit in on a training webinar for CDEs on recognizing and treating depression. Note that CDEs are generally nurses, dietitians, or pharmacists. All three of these professions require their members to log a certain number of continuing medical education (so-called CME) hours to maintain their licenses. To assist with this, the AADE offers a variety of CME training options, including self-study programs, seminars in various cities, and live webinars like the one I attended, led by Joseph Nelson, a.k.a. “ Mindful Joe ,” a masters-level licensed psychologist. Oh, right. And he’s also a board certified sex therapist . Nelson, at first glance, seems an odd choice to teach diabetes educators about PWDs and depression. But Nelson spent 19 years in our trenches working at the International Diabetes Center in Minneapolis, from 1984 until 2003, when he went into private practice. Since that time he has worked with PWDs on both sex issues and garden variety depression, been a speaker at many TCOYD events, and has written for the Diabetes Self-Management blog .

    1. AmyT
      AmyT February 5, 2014 at 9:19 am | | Reply

      @Maria – thanks for your input. However, we’ve taken an inside look at some of the presentations Joseph Nelson has made, and found that he was not particularly respectful to patients.

      Please see:

  7. Bill
    Bill March 21, 2014 at 6:43 am | | Reply

    Thanks, Mike.
    Please see my commentary on diabetes organizations,
    Too Many Cooks, and a Modest Proposal

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