I started working with people with Diabetes in the 1980’s in the Diabetes Centre, Mater Misericordiae Hospital Dublin. I realized in the early days that we as nurses working with people with Diabetes needed to improve our knowledge and skills in order to provide a better service and support for people with Diabetes and their families.
With my colleagues we established a Diabetes Nurse Association. This provided us with a forum to raise awareness of the need for Diabetes Education for Nurses. We developed a certificate programme initially, over time the need for accredited training was recognised. I was involved in the development of the Higher Diploma in Diabetes Nursing in association with University College Dublin. This is now a requirement for nurses who hold the post of Diabetes Specialist Nurse. This ensures a career pathway for nurses in Diabetes and they can progress to Masters and PHD.
I am a founding member of FEND and served on the Executive for a number of years and am now an Honorary member. FEND continues to progress and support Diabetes Nurse Education. I would like to thank all my colleagues over the years for their invaluable encouragement and support.