Diabetes educators review 2012 National Standards.

Last revised in 2007, the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education have served as the acceptable guide for providing consistency and quality through the delivery of diabetes education. At the American Association for Diabetes Educators annual meeting, certified diabetes educators discussed the recently updated standards, emphasizing support and a continuum of self-management, as well as a widened criterion for eligible instructors.

One obvious revision includes a change in the standard’s title. Formerly known as the National Standard for Diabetes Self-Management Education, the guide is now known as the National Standard for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES).

Donna Tomky, MSN, RN, C-NP, CDE, FAADE, immediate past president of AADE and nurse practitioner and diabetes educator from ABQ Health Partners in Albuquerque, NM, said support is a very important part of the change.


Donna Tomky

“It really defines those activities that assist the person with prediabetes or diabetes in implementing and sustaining the behaviors needed to manage his or her condition on an ongoing basis. It really looks at the continuum instead of just a one-time effort,” Tomky said during a presentation.

Tomky said there are misunderstandings surrounding the standards. For example, an RN, RD, pharmacist, medical director or CDE are not needed for a diabetes education program. The revisions will be published in the October issue of Diabetes Care, she said.

Co-presenter, Melinda Maryniuk, RD, Med, CDE, director of clinical education programs for the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, Mass., said the revisions are aimed to ensure wide applicability and to ensure quality care.

“There aren’t revolutionary new things that have come out, but we have more research to support the information,” Maryniuk said.

In a survey of 225 public comment reviewers consisting of RNs, RDs, pharmacists, MD/DO/Endo, mental health professionals, and other providers, 82% said the standards were applicable to them, Tomky and Maryniuk said. Additionally, 74% agreed the document was clear. Many of the comments received mentioned satisfaction with a wider focus on support and prevention, while looking for more information.

Other revisions include increased clarity to ensure broad-based relevance in institutional and solo-based providers, an increased attention to behavior change and added examples of who can offer diabetes education, including occupational therapists and certified health education specialists. – By Samantha Costa

For more infromation:

Tomky D. #F03. Presented at: The American Association of Diabetes Educators 2012 Annual Meeting & Exhibition. August 1-4, 2012; Indianapolis.

Disclosure: Ms. Tomky and Ms. Maryniuk report no relevant financial disclosures.


  • I attended this session so I could be as current and up-to-date with what the new standards will be forthcoming. I thought it was a great overview with realistic discussions in regard to the different organizations that I work with, and what challenges they might potentially have when it comes to interpreting the standards.

The fact that a credentialed CDE person who isn’t a nurse, dietician, or pharmacist can be in solo practice is really great. I have a lot of exercise physiology friends and I can’t wait to share that information with them. They will be so excited. They, too, are potentially masters-prepared and certified.


  • Source: Endocrine Today.



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