Reflecting on World Diabetes Day 2020: The Nurse and Diabetes

November 14, 2020
Patrick Campbell

In honor of World Diabetes Day, we reached out to Lucia Novak, CRNP, to get her perspective on the role of nurses in the diabetes care model as "The Nurse and Diabetes" has been chosen as the official theme of this year's World Diabetes Day.

Established more than 20 years ago by the International Diabetes Federation, World Diabetes Day was created with the aim of bringing awareness and attention to what would go on to become one of the most widespread health crises in the world

Now, awareness of diabetes has reached a fever pitch and the awareness day has become an opportunity to highlight particular aspects of diabetes care and the collaborative care model of diabetes management. For 2019 and 2018, the theme of the day was the family and diabetes. For 2020, the official theme for this year’s World Diabetes Day is “The Nurse and Diabetes”.

“Nurses are often called on to provide more than just medical care. People trust nurses, often above and beyond other health professionals. We provide a sympathetic ear—a safe haven where people living with diabetes can find the support they need,” said Judith Mendez, RN, BSN, is a nurse from Belize, in a statement from the International Diabetes Federation. “The increase in the number of people with diabetes is pushing many healthcare systems to breaking point. Governments must invest in nurses now to help improve health education in the population and ease the pressure.”

In recent decades, medicine has undergone an awakening of sorts in realizing the important role of nurses when providing care. One akin to a sidekick or an aide to physicians, nurses are now valued as a colleague and an integral part of the care team. In fact, most physicians will admit they depend on nurses within their practice to explain medications and dosing to patients, and even providing feedback to physicians on what treatment approach might be better for their patients’ lifestyle.

The role of the nurse is set to become even more crucial with recent advances in diabetes management. With SGLT2 inhibitors and other agents with indications across multiple conditions that could require seeing a slew of specialists, having a team member with a more intimate connection to patients can have a tangible impact on outcomes for patients.


To gain more perspective, we sat down with Lucia Novak, CRNP, a nurse practitioner with Capital Diabetes and Endocrine Associates, to learn what she thought of the theme for this year’s World Diabetes Day and for insight on how she views the role of nurses in diabetes care models.