What is a Diabetes Nurse Educator Certification?

What is a Certified Diabetes Nurse Educator?
What is a Certified Diabetes Nurse Educator?

Certified Diabetes Nurse Educator

A diabetes nurse educator certification is a specialization for RNs to teach diabetic patients about diet and nutrition. What is a Certified Diabetes Nurse Educator? Diabetes nurse educators and specialized registered nurses are tasked with the responsibility of teaching patients about the essential nature of diet and nutrition when they have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Diabetic patients must learn to self-manage their diabetic condition properly if they are to remain healthy and avoid the consequences and complications that often come with uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

What is a Certified Diabetes Educator?

If you have been considering a career as a diabetes nurse educator, you have likely pondered these questions–

  • What is a diabetes nurse educator?
  • What is a certified diabetes nurse educator?
  • How do I become a diabetes nurse educator?
  • How to become a diabetes nurse educator with a diabetes educator certification for nurses?

Diabetes counselors and nurse educators are generally health care professionals trained to assist those living with diabetes to adjust their diet and exercise regimens as needed to maintain their health. A diabetes nurse educator will generally be a Registered Nurse (RN) or hold a more advanced nursing degree to meet their role as a diabetes nurse educator.

What Do They Do?

Why is a certified diabetes educator important? The counseling and education offered to those patients include the prevention of diabetes, plus working with patients who are prediabetic or currently have Type I, Type II, and gestational diabetes – much of which will be listed in a typical diabetes nurse educator job description.

  • Proper nutrition to help manage diabetes. Diabetics must understand how to read food labels and learn how carbohydrates, sugars, and sodium impact a diabetic’s system.
  • Prevent most diabetic-related conditions by having enough sleep.
  • Sufficient exercise.
  • Medication dosing is an integral part of the management of diabetes. Medication for diabetes includes pills and injectable medications. If they are insulin-dependent,  patients must understand the signs of low blood sugar.
  • The blood Glucose Monitoring process is an essential part of managing a diabetic condition. Patients must learn to log their blood sugar readings and dietary choices to help maintain acceptable blood sugar levels.
  • The importance of A1C hemoglobin tests on a regular basis.
  • Optimize the health outcomes for patients.

What Degree Do You Need to be a Certified Diabetes Educator?

It is noted that a baccalaureate degree in healthcare is the bare-bones requirement for a diabetic nurse educator; however, most diabetic nurse educators possess more advanced or graduate degrees or certifications.

There are many MSN programs throughout the country as they offered on-campus, online, or hybrid delivery of both.

How to Become a Certified Educator Nurse

Diabetes nurse educators can opt to obtain a diabetes nurse educator certification from the Certification Board for Diabetes Care and Education (CBDCE). The CBDCE offers an exam that leads to a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) designation.

To qualify for the Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist designation exam, an applicant must meet these diabetes nurse educator certification requirements –

  • Have at least 1,000 hours of diabetes education that was earned within four years prior to the exam. It is noted that at least 40% of this experience must have happened in the previous year.
  • Have at least two years of professionally practicing an acceptable discipline.
  • Note – Certification is required to be renewed every five years.

Additionally, CDCES designation holders must complete at least 15 hours of continuing education related to diabetes to meet the certification requirements.

Diabetes Nurse Educator Salary

How much do diabetes nurse educators make? According to data obtained by the federal government’s the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, nursing educators have a median annual income of $74,600. The salary range for a diabetes nurse educator begins at about $41,000 and tops off at about $133,000.

Top Paying States

Geographically, the top-paying states for jobs for nursing educators are below.

District of Columbia$157,560 per year
Florida$122,050  per year
California$101,930  per year
New York$ 97,750  per year
Connecticut$ 97,350  per year

Top Paying Metropolitan Areas

Geographically, the top-paying metropolitan areas for jobs for nursing educators are below.

Metropolitan AreaSalary
DC – VA – MD – WV$120,980  per year
Rochester, NY$108,480  per year
New Haven, CT$107,320  per year
LA, Long Beach, Anaheim$106,740  per year
Sacramento – Roseville – Arden, CA$104,430 per year

Top Industries for Employment

Are certified diabetes educators in demand? In 2019, there were more than 59,000 nurse educators employed in the United States. The industries offering the highest level of jobs are below.

Industry# EmployedYearly Salary
Schools, Colleges, Universities34,310$ 83,240
Junior Colleges17,840$ 75,430
Medical & Surgical Hospitals4,230$121,180
Trade/Technical Schools2,280$ 73,100
Business & Computer Training Schools340$ 86,720


Sandra Janowicz

Keeley Jones
Registered Nurse

Carrie Sealey-Morris