Development starts on diabetes nursing qualification

By Editor
8th November 2017

The need for a diabetes nursing qualification is being discussed to standardise the qualities needed for nurses specialising in the condition, The Diabetes Times has learned.

Leading diabetes nursing organisation TREND-UK (Training, Research and Education for Nurses in Diabetes-UK) was recently asked to define the role of the diabetes specialist nurse by Dr Partha Kar, associate national clinical director for diabetes for NHS England. The concerns about variation in skills, competence, experience, titles, and problems with recruitment were identified as part of this process.

Debbie Hicks, Jill Hill and June James, the co-chairs of TREND-UK, want the role to have a clearer definition and for a single foundation diabetes specialist qualification to be made available, as is currently available in Northern Ireland.

This is because at the moment there is no mandatory qualification available for a diabetes specialist nurse, which means anyone within the field of nursing could potentially call themselves a diabetes nurse.

Diabetes UK also has concerns about this and met recently with TREND-UK and representatives from Leicester and Swansea universities to discuss the current concerns and potential ways to address them.

All parties are working together to create a position statement on the subject to be released early next year. Debbie Hicks and Jill Hill will also be speaking about the situation of diabetes nursing at the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes later this month. However, work still needs to be done in a bid to persuade the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to back the idea of a diabetes specialist nursing qualification.

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