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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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  2. Jan 05, 2023

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  3. Mar 10, 2011

    Karen Kemmis I am most grateful for this wealth of information and tips in preparation for the CDE exam. I am about to repeat this exam in June 2011 and I really need to pass this exam. At the facility I work I do teaching, coupled with partime teaching along with a nutritionist and Dr in another clinic. The Dept. Of Health -Community clinic just completed an eight week Diabetes Empowerment teaching session. It was very rewarding to see the clients reactions and the expressions when they were more involved in their diabetes care plan. Thanks again Karen. Viviene
  4. Dec 06, 2010

    To answer Kathy Archibald's Questions on 11/27/2010: I know the CORE you refer to isn't published anymore, but what is the full title or isbn of the one you still refer to? Answer: The Core Curriculum was replaced in 2006 by The Art and Science of Diabetes Self-Management Education Desk Reference. A new edition of The Art & Science will be published at the end of December 2010. The ISBNs for the new editions: Book: 978-1-881876-17-5 CD-ROM: 978-1-881876-26-7 For more information on the forthcoming edition: (Book) (CD-ROM) (Book & CD-ROM)
  5. Dec 06, 2010

    To answer Kathy Archibald's other question on 11/27/2010: does anyone know if the Art & Science DM SM desk ref include quizzes - I don't see the workbook on the aade website, where did you purchase. Trying to make a good plan for taking the CDE in Spring 2011. Answer: There are no review questions in the Desk Reference. To review for the CDE exam, we suggest The Diabetes Education Review Guide, 2nd Edition. This exam prep guide contains more than 200 test questions based on the CDE exam content outline. For more information on this title: We also offer a live course for CDE preparation: The CORE Concepts Course. This course will be offered twice in spring and twice in fall of 2011. For more information:
  6. Dec 05, 2010

    Hello, As another aid to studying for the CDE exam, the 'Diabetes Core Curriculum Workshop' is available. This continuing education course is a comprehensive diabetes update and study course for the exam. It is now in its 16 year and has been influential in helping people become CDEs. An expert faculty share their knowledge and help build confidence. For further information, please visit If you have questions, please let me know
  7. Nov 27, 2010

    another question: does anyone know if the Art & Science DM SM desk ref include quizzes - I don't see the workbook on the aade website, where did you purchase. Trying to make a good plan for taking the CDE in Spring 2011.
  8. Nov 27, 2010

    I know the CORE you refer to isn't published anymore, but what is the full title or isbn of the one you still refer to?
  9. Nov 22, 2010

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  10. Nov 21, 2010

    I passed CDE exam Dec of 2009, I was placed in this new postion as diabetes Educator and decided immediatly that it was worth taking exam, I accrued the hours, purchased the Art and Science of Diabetes Self management text and work book, I read the book from cover to cover and it was excellent, I also obtained work book, I attended seminars, and read everything I could put my hands on, I went to Medscape, Joslin, and Nurse I went to the library, studied very hard and was successful. My advice is to get the text and read entire book, and also visit different websites that provide info on diabetes, seminars etc, If one study hard passing is attainable.
  11. Nov 17, 2010

    Well, I did just ordered the Diabetes Education Review Guide Second Edition and just started reviewing it. I still do find that I do need more information to prepare for the exam. But this review is a good start.
  12. Nov 16, 2010

    Do you take into account the hemoglobin varient when getting a results from a lab aic???

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