What are the steps in becomming a CDE?

Ask our CDE

What are the steps in becomming a CDE?


Dear CDE,

Lately I have been considering becoming a CDE but do not know what is required.  How did you become a CDE?  What steps and/or schooling do I need to have before receiving this certification?





Dear Jackie-

Often those of us that live with diabetes want to help others and becoming a CDE is one way to accomplish this. So what is required?  I will run through the basics but you can also check it out at www.ncbde.org which is the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators.  The eligibility requirements to “sit for” the CDE exam include being either a registered nurse, dietitian,  occupational therapist, optometrist, pharmacist., physical therapist, clinical psychologist, clinical exercise physiologist or a health care professional with a minimum of a master’s degree in social work, nutrition, health education or specified areas of public health. In addition you must have a minimum of 2 years to the day  experience in Diabetes self management education(DSME) in the past 5 years, a minimum of 1000 hours DSME in the past 5 years and current employment in a defined role as a diabetes educator a minimum of 4 hours per week at the time of application.

You have to complete an application and submit an application fee of $350.00
Again all of this information is on the NCBDE website. Also they are changing requirements to some degree for 2010 and that is also located at the website.

Gosh, that sounds like a lot! But if you are in these professions or desire to and like to help your fellow people with diabetes it can provide you with great professional satisfaction. However, do not go into it thinking you will make a lot of money because unfortunately, we don’t!!   Also for some folks living with diabetes day after day is enough and they realize after starting to work in the field that it is too much diabetes. So you have to know yourself. For me personally, I love what I do, always have and probably always will. But that does not necessarily mean you love who or what institution you work for. So if you want a job where you feel good about what you do and how you can help others, it can be great!! So Good luck to all you aspiring CDE’s!