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Abstract

Nurses play a critical role in promoting quality diabetes patient care. The practice patterns of the generalist nurse are established in undergraduate nursing programs. It is therefore critical that the information delivered to the diabetic patient reflect the most recently identified priorities of diabetes care. The American Diabetes Association Council on Education conducted a survey to determine the extent to which diabetes content is addressed in the curricula of nursing schools. Data collected from associate and baccalaureate degree nursing faculty revealed a majority of didactic content focused on topics related to diabetic pathophysiology, followed respectively by information regarding the therapeutic regimen and educational or psychological concepts associated with diabetes management. The majority of clinical learning took place in acute care settings, minimizing student exposure to nonacute, outpatient practice experiences focusing more on issues of diabetes self-management. A majority of faculty responsible for teaching diabetes content had attended continuing education courses to obtain information to use with other teaching materials. Further research is needed to better define the diabetes practice objectives of the generalist nurse and to translate these findings to the nursing faculty responsible for teaching this content. Reconunendations for interaction between professional nursing organizations and professional diabetes associations are made.

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