1. Lipman, Terri H. PhD, CRNP, FAAN

Article Content

Diabetes is a wonderful (meaning full of wonder) affliction, not very frequent among men, being a melting down of the flesh and limbs into urine. Life is too short, disgusting, and painful, thirst unquenchable, excessive drinking, which, however, is disproportionate to the large quantity of urine, for more urine is passed; and one cannot stop them either from drinking or making water; or, if for a time they abstain from drinking, their mouth becomes parched and their body dry, the viscera seems as if scorched up; they are affected with nausea, restlessness, and burning thirst, and at no distant term they expire. Aretaeuos of Cappadocia-Circa 100 A.D.


With the discovery of insulin by Banting and Best in 1921, diabetes became a treatable, yet incurable disease, as it remains today. Although much of the focus of diabetes is on the 24 million affected adults, type 1 diabetes is the third most common disease of childhood. Type 2 diabetes, a disease seen almost exclusively in adults until the late 20th century, affects approximately 40,000 children in the United States due to the epidemic of obesity (CDC, 2010). So this special issue of MCN is indeed exceptional for two reasons: the significance of this topic to maternal-child nurses and the clinical acumen of the authors.


Diabetes is a relevant topic for all categories of MCN readers. For the nurses in midwifery and perinatal nursing, Hatfield discusses the care of the infant of a mother with diabetes. Are you a neonatal nurse? Neonatal diabetes is a rare but serious disorder that has been linked to mutations in several genes. Knowledge of the genetics of this disorder, as presented by Rearson et al., is crucial in providing optimal care for these infants. Are you a pediatric nurse who cares for children who are obese? Dea's article on type 2 diabetes provides critical information related to issues that are likely to face obese children from vulnerable populations. Do you struggle with the psychosocial issues affecting families who have a child with a chronic illness? The article by Ayala and Murphy provides an overview of the psychosocial issues of diabetes and suggested interventions. Howe and colleagues present interventions related to pain management in their study evaluating needle anxiety in children with diabetes. For those who provide care for children with diabetes, Carchidi et al. discuss how technology has greatly expanded the management of the disorder. And for all maternal-child nurses, the article describing a university/community collaboration to screen for diabetes risk factors in high-risk children illustrates the importance of partnership and cultural relevance when addressing major public health problems.


All the articles were written by clinicians who maintain extremely busy clinical practices. How did these authors accomplish this daunting task? It was difficult, but the clinicians were committed to sharing their expertise to improve the lives of children with diabetes through evidence-based practice. So to all of you who are busy clinicians, find a mentor and write about your nursing passion!! I can promise you that it will increase your job satisfaction and provide the rest of us with the benefit of your knowledge and perspective.


The goals of this special issue are to provide maternal-child nurses with a series of articles that represent the breadth of diabetes pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management, and to illustrate that practicing nurses can publish topics related to their clinical expertise. Read about diabetes, gain knowledge, become motivated, and write!!




Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Children and diabetes. Retrieved August 9, 2010 from[Context Link]