The first audit of diabetes specialist nurses (DSNs) has shown there are over 1800 DSNs currently working in England.
The results of the audit, which was initiated by diabetes specialist nursing group TREND-UK, were shared at the Diabetes Professional Care conference in London this week.
It found that there are currently 1872 DSNs employed in England and that around a third are employed in the community, with just over half working in hospitals and around 15% working in both settings.
The audit found that there were 117 job titles listed for nurses in diabetes care, leading to calls from TREND-UK to simplify the role names to ‘diabetes specialist nurse’ at band 6 and ‘senior diabetes specialist nurse’ at band 7.
The group also called for standardisation of the role, including DSNs being prepared to take diploma-level courses and senior DSNs being willing to undertake a master’s degree.
Debbie Hicks, TREND-UK co-chair and nurse consultant in diabetes, said that there was a need to develop DSNs from the community nursing pool and that CCGs needed to invest financially and offer study leave to aspiring DSNs in order to maintain diabetes nursing as a specialist job role.
Ms. Hicks commented: ‘We need to be strong about what we need in order to keep this role going.’
The full results of the audit will be published later this year.