Diabetes training for long-term care nurses

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Sherrie Dornberger, RNC, CDONA, FACDONA, executive director, NADONA
Sherrie Dornberger, RNC, CDONA, FACDONA, executive director, NADONA
Q: It seems as if we are seeing more and more diabetic residents. Is there a certification exam on diabetes specifically for long-term care nurses?

A: Yes, and you are not just imagining an increase in the number of residents with diabetes. In 2007, it was estimated that over 23% of people over 60 have it (more than 12 million people). More than 72,000 deaths were directly associated with it that year alone. The cost of their care is staggering.

I am excited to report that NADONA has begun administering a diabetic certification track specifically for long-term care nurses. The examination became available online this past summer. It includes a set of modules that you will take at your own pace. When you finish the modules, there is the certification exam.

The learning modules are science-based and written for all nurses. Once you complete the education and exam successfully, you will be able to use the acronym GDCN (for Geriatric Diabetic Certified Nurse) as part of your title.

This is the program for RNs, LPNs or LVNs looking for the most current information on diabetes and wanting to become an expert in the disease process.

After you pass the exam, you will receive a certificate and card. These are valid for five years. At the end of that period, you will need to pay a renewal and have at least 75 contact hours during the five-year period that just elapsed.

You can check out www.nadona.org/university for certification information. You may also want to check out many of the pharma company websites that produce some of the medications and insulins since they have a lot of invaluable information and training tools for diabetes. You can use it not only to gain knowledge yourself but also to share information with your staff.

Please send your resident care-related questions to Sherrie Dornberger at ltcnews@mcknights.com
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