Becoming a CDE®

Becoming a Certified Diabetes Educator® (CDE®) is one of the best professional and personal decisions I have ever made.” – Coach Beverly Thomassian, RN, MPH, CDE, BC-ADM

What is a Certified Diabetes Educator®?

First awarded in 1986, the CDE® credential has become a standard of excellence for the delivery of quality diabetes education. Ones who hold this certification are known to possess comprehensive knowledge of and experience in diabetes prevention, management, and prediabetes.

Why become a CDE®? Three Reasons from Coach Beverly

Reason 1: CDE® is a widely recognized certification by employers and health care professionals throughout the U.S.  This credential demonstrates a specialized and in-depth knowledge in the prevention and treatment of individuals living with pre-diabetes and diabetes. 

Reason 2: Currently, 10% of people in the U.S. have diabetes and another 35% have pre-diabetes which means 45% of Americans are running around with elevated blood glucose levels.  Given this epidemic, there will be plenty of future job opportunities.

Reason 3: Having my CDE® along with my nursing degree, has opened many doors of opportunity; from working as an inpatient Diabetes Nurse Specialist in a hospital to working as a Manager of Diabetes Education in the outpatient setting to starting my own consulting company.

How to Prepare for the Exam – FREE Webinar

FREE Webinar – Preparing for CDE®* Exam
October 10, 2019 | 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
  PST

Not sure where to start? Join us live or listen to our On Demand version by registering today! Learn how to focus your time and prepare to take the CDE® Exam. We provide plenty of sample test questions and test-taking tips!

This course will transform your test anxiety into calm self-confidence and test-taking readiness.

The best part of becoming a CDE® is working with my colleagues and people living with diabetes. As diabetes educators, we hear compelling and beautiful life stories. I am astounded by the barriers they face and inspired by their adaptability, problem-solving skills, and resilience.

– Coach Beverly Thomassian, RN, MPH, CDE, BC-ADM

Getting ready to take the CDE® Exam?  “We have what you need.”

Coach Beverly has created a 10-Step Study Path and Material List to help you succeed! These are based off 25 years of CDE® coaching experience and student feedback. Prepare for the exam, earn your CEs, gain confidence as an educator, and more!

10 Step to Succeed | Pass the CDE®

Coach Beverly’s Material List

Test Taking Toolkit


Preparing to Become A CDE® Overview

According to the National Certification Board for Diabetes Education (NCBDE),  you need to have your professional license for at least 2 years as a RN, RD, PT, PharmD, PA, MD (and others) plus accumulate 1000 hours of diabetes self-management teaching experience to take the CDE® exam. You also need to complete 15 hours of diabetes related continuing education within 2 years of taking the exam by an approved provider. All of our courses are approved by CDR, which means the hours you earn with us count, regardless of your profession**

Quick Links


Articles to Review

ADA Standards of Care 2019 -This yearly publication by the American Diabetes Association outlines the goals of care for diabetes management. Since it is evidenced based, it includes a useful summary of the trials and research that the goals are based on. A must read if you are entering the diabetes field or preparing to take the CDE® or BC-ADM Exam.

Purchase ADA Standards of Care 2019 Booklet – $20

Screening and Diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus 2019– One page cheat sheet that summarizes screening, risk status and diagnostic criteria for diabetes.

Pharmacologic Approaches to Glycemic Treatment 2018.  This hyperglycemia road map details strategies to achieve glucose control for both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Section 8 of Standards of Care, Dec 2018..

AACE Comprehensive Type 2 Diabetes Management Algorithm 2019.  This link provides the complete executive and slide set summary by an American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists/American College of Endocrinology Consensus Panel on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. If you are taking the CDE® or BC-ADM exam, we encourage students to be familiar with the slide content that reviews diabetes management.

Language & Diabetes. What we say matters | Resource page
Language is powerful and can have a strong impact on perceptions as well as behavior. This mini webinar and article provides recommendations for language used by health care professionals and others when discussing diabetes through spoken or written words whether directed to people with diabetes, colleagues, or the general public, as well as research questions related to language and diabetes.

AACE Comprehensive Type 2 Diabetes Management Algorithm 2019.  This link provides the complete executive and slide set summary by an American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists/American College of Endocrinology Consensus Panel on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. If you are taking the CDE® or BC-ADM exam, we encourage students to be familiar with the slide content that reviews diabetes management.

2017 National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support – A joint position statement of the American Diabetes Association, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. An important document to review for those providing Diabetes Self-Management Education or those considering take the certification exam.

AADE – White Paper on Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Therapy 2018 » – This paper outlines the topics that should be covered by diabetes educators when teaching patients and families or significant others about insulin pump therapy.

AADE 7™ Self-Care BehaviorsA must read for anyone entering the field of Diabetes or as a reference for those already in the field.  These 7 Self-Care Behaviors™ provide a framework for patient centered diabetes self-management education and training (DSME/T) and care.

Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Medications – since many people with diabetes are at risk for heart disease, those preparing for the CDE should be familiar with the general concepts, (side effects and precautions) of medications to treat hypertension and hyperlipidemia.  We have compiled 2 medication cheat sheets below that provide this critical content.

We invite you to visit our comprehensive library of articles and resources – See more »


*Certified Diabetes Educator® and CDE® are registered marks owned by NCBDE. The use of DES products do not guarantee successful passage of the CDE® exam. NCBDE does not endorse any preparatory or review materials for the CDE® exam, except for those published by NCBDE.”

**To satisfy the requirement for renewal of certification by continuing education for the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE), continuing education activities must be applicable to diabetes and approved by a provider on the NCBDE List of Recognized Providers (www.ncbde.org). NCBDE does not approve continuing education. Diabetes Education Services is accredited/approved by the Commission of Dietetic Registration which is on the list of NCBDE Recognized Providers.”