At the Journal of Diabetes Nursing’s February conference, Diabetes Nursing: Que Sera Sera?, I was pleased to see the focus on representation and advancement of diabetes nursing. This focus was maintained through Maggie Watkinson’s editorial and readers letters in the last issue of journal. However, there appear to be many major issues that are still not being dealt with by any of the existing diabetes nursing groups.
How would DSNs describe the core elements of their role, and how much variation is there? What should a patient expect when they see a DSN? What do others think the DSN role consists of — outside diabetes, there is very little understanding. Many DSNs have likened their roles to that of a nurse consultant, but do many understand what the differences are?
We currently have very little information about our effectiveness, and tend to count numbers of patients seen as evidence of how ‘good’ we are. Who is developing quality measures that we can use to assess our practice? Where are the courses helping us to develop the leadership, management and
educational skills we need?
Although some progress is being made, I urge the leading diabetes nursing groups to address some of these fundamental issues. Otherwise, the inevitable question will recur – where is the leadership in diabetes nursing?