Date of Graduation

Winter 12-2017

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions



This improvement project aims to justify the need for a certified diabetes educator (CDE) on the medical surgical/telemetry unit of a rural community hospital. A microsystem and gap analysis indicates lack of comprehensive, efficient and effective diabetes care education. The clinical nurse leader (CNL) conducted a learning needs assessment and pilot education project to integrate tasks of a CDE into the microsystem. Patients participated if they spoke English as their native language, met the criteria of a new diagnosis of diabetes, uncontrolled blood sugars, or hemoglobin A1C of 6.5% or higher. Thirty-minute education sessions were provided to twenty patients and/or families at the bedside, incorporating lifestyle modifications, diet control, potential disease complications, exercise, and medication management. Pre and posttests were completed based on self-management education to determine if teaching was effective. One hundred percent of patients increased their pre to post test scores after receiving structured inpatient diabetes care education. Results from this learning needs assessment and financial impact estimation suggest that engaging a CDE as part of the care team would advance diabetes self-management education and improve patient outcomes. A recommendation would be for the CNL to function in the role of CDE in this microsystem for a one-year pilot project. Based on the results, a business plan for a new full-time CDE is planned.

Keywords: diabetes, certified diabetes educator, outcomes, team, self-management