Nurses are fundamental to good diabetes care - in celebration of World Diabetes Day 2020

Charlotte Gordon 14 Nov 2020

The role of the nurse is this years key message, raising awareness of the crucial role nurses play in supporting those living with diabetes.

In a world beset by the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen that people living with diabetes are at increased risk of mortality - one in four people who have died in hospital in England following a C-19 diagnosis, also had diabetes. 
At such challenging times, nurses really make the difference. Accounting for over half the global health workforce, nurses across all fields of practice are supporting people living with, or at risk of diabetes. As cases of diabetes rise globally, nurses are a keystone in managing the impact of this condition. 

People living with diabetes, do so every moment, of every day. They face huge challenges both physically and emotionally and education is vital to equip nurses with the skills to support them. Nurses may play a role in prevention; tackling the risk factors for type 2, diagnosis, or providing training and psychological support. Nurses are often the most frequent healthcare contact of people living with diabetes, so the quality of evidence-based care and treatment is essential. 
There remains much to be done in relation to providing and funding education for nurses, to make high quality care for all, a reality. The IDF is speaking with policy makers and nurses directly about the steps that can be taken to ensure health professionals are best prepared to support people living with diabetes in their communities, through better education and funding. They are calling on national governments to recognise and advance the role of nurses in diabetes care. 

The IDF has launched a 60-minute Online course, 'The role of the diabetes educator' to help nurses and other health professionals effectively support people with diabetes and promote healthy lifestyles and self management, to achieve optimal control of the condition. 

But an education workforce is still on the back-foot in the fight against diabetes, if staffing levels remain problematic. According to the IDF, the number of nurses trained and employed needs to grow by 8% per year to overcome staggering global shortfalls in the profession by 2030. Your RCN safe staffing campaign means having enough staff, with the right skills and knowledge in the right place at the right time, in order to provide patients with the safe and effective care the deserve. Join the campaign for safe staffing here: 

If C-19 has shown is anything, it is the dedication of nurses and healthcare professionals to make a difference to the people we care for, in the hardest of times. We need to harness this moment and promote the needs of our profession to ensure we can support the health and well-being to all those we care for, now and in the future. 

In consideration of World Diabetes Day 2020, the International Diabetes Federation keep promoting the 'The role of nurses in Diabetes Care' #WorldDisabetesDay, #NursesMakeTheDifference
Visit: to find out more. 

Charlotte Gordon

Charlotte Gordon

Diabetes Forum Committee Member

Lecturer - Adult Nursing (Diabetes)

Nursing academic and researcher delivering pre and post registration nurse education. Committed to delivering high quality Diabetes related teaching and research with interest in emerging technologies for disease management, with regional and national collaborations in the field of diabetes care.

Page last updated - 10/12/2020