Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists

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So, you want to be a CDE?

Nov 15, 2010

In our field, I think it is very important to have a CDE®. Not that everyone has to get it - there are some great educators who don’t have an additional diabetes education credential - but, having one does show that a certain level of knowledge has been shown by passing a credentialing exam.

I have seen many communications through the AADE communities asking for input regarding preparation for taking the CDE® exam. I’ll tell you what is necessary to take the exam and what I found to be helpful. Many of you are CDEs. What did you do that seemed helpful (or not so helpful) when preparing for the exam?

First, what is necessary? Go to the NCBDE website. You will see information about which professionals can sit for the exam. Then, you will see information describing professional practice experience including a minimum of 2 years experience in your field and 1,000 hours of diabetes self-management experience (which must be accrued at a job where you are paid to perform diabetes education). Also, 15 hours of continuing education must be completed in the 2 years prior to completing the exam application. The next time period for exam application submission starts January 15, 2011.

Now, what is helpful? I know what I did and found to be helpful, but I would love to hear from others, especially people who received certification recently. Before I took the exam to become a CDE® for the first time, I read a CORE Curriculum for Diabetes Education, took the quizzes at the end of each chapter and made little study sheets for each chapter. I believe the equivalent to this is now The Art and Science of Diabetes Self-Management Education Desk Reference. I still go back to the CORE to look up some information from time to time. I also created one review sheet for medications since I don’t routinely work with meds with patients. I now have the AADE Quick Guide to Medications which is a great reference for under $25. I see there is now a Diabetes Education Review Guide to aid in test preparation. Who has used this? I’m sure I would have, but it came out well after I took my exam.

When I was preparing for the exam, I attended the Core Concepts® Course. This was a great course covering so much information about diabetes and education, including some CDE® test-taking strategies. I would highly recommend this course.

What did you do to prepare for an exam? What was helpful? Many members of AADE are thinking about taking the exam and could really benefit from your experience. Was there anything you did differently at work? People you got information from? Books/articles you read? Courses you took? On-line courses you participated in? Please share to help those who are preparing for the exam.

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