Nurses help change how people live with diabetes

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Nurses are the silent heroes for many people living with diabetes, Diabetes NSW & ACT CEO Sturt Eastwood said to mark World Diabetes Day.

“Although diabetes is often not the primary cause of hospitalisation, once people living with diabetes are in hospital they need good transitional care and priority given to their diabetes,” Mr Eastwood said.

“Nurses can make the difference between letting diabetes control you or living a long and healthy life with the condition.”

Mr Eastwood asked the more than 448,000 people in NSW living with diabetes to take a minute this World Diabetes Day (Nov 14) and think about the difference nurses make to their care.

“Around Australia today there are people with diabetes being cared for by nurses, whether through helping people understand their diabetes and how to manage it, or caring for them if they end up in hospital.”

Credentialled Diabetes Educators

Mr Eastwood made special mention of the many nurses who study post graduate diabetes qualifications to become Credentialled Diabetes Educators.

“The combination of those disciplines gives people access to highly trained medical professionals who know a lot about diabetes specifically.”

One such professional is Diabetes NSW & ACT Registered Nurse, Credentialled Diabetes Educator and Psychotherapist Carolien Koreneff.

Carolien, who was born and qualified in the Netherlands, has been working as a nurse for 27 years and a Credentialled Diabetes Educator for about 25 years. She emigrated to Australia 25 years ago.

Making a difference motivates Carolien

“I am passionate about making a difference,” Carolien said. “Helping people to understand their diabetes, and what they can do to live more fulfilling lives while reducing the risk of developing or the impact of diabetes complications, is what inspires me.”

Complications from diabetes can include heart and kidney disease, stroke, blindness, amputations, depression and anxiety.

Carolien urges people with diabetes to “make it yours”.

“Get into the driver’s seat and take control,” she said. “There is a lot you can do to improve your situation, and you can take it one step at a time.

“You don’t have to do it alone. Ask for help along the way because that is what we’re here for.”

Nurse/CDE studies to be a somatic

Carolien joined Diabetes NSW & ACT in 2018 after 18 years in the Diabetes Centre at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. She is one of a few “Fellows of the Australian Diabetes Educators Association” in recognition of her expertise in diabetes leadership, education and management, and contribution to the Diabetes Educators’ profession.

Carolien has also trained as a somatic or body-oriented psychotherapist.

“The combination of nursing, diabetes education and psychotherapy helps me to understand at a deeper level the needs, wants and concerns of people with diabetes and their carers and families,” she said.

“Inspiring people, helping others find meaning and improve their self-worth, level of confidence and awareness, makes me want to jump out of bed in the morning.

“I love sharing knowledge and helping people.”

If you would like to speak to a Diabetes Health Professional, ring 1300 342 238 or visit out website on


Media: Veronica Phillips, 0472864395




Diabetes NSW & ACT is Australia’s largest member based charity dedicated to people living with or at risk of diabetes. Our priority is their health and wellbeing, enabling them to live their lives well through positive support and education – every step of the way. As well as helping to prevent diabetes, its complications and improve people’s lives on a day-to-day basis, we support crucial research into finding better treatments and a cure for diabetes. For more information contact Diabetes NSW & ACT toll free on 1300 342 238, or visit


Join our community of over 45,000 people living with diabetes