I am a Certified Diabetes Educator, first certified in 2002 and a Certified Pediatric Nurse, first certified in 1995.
I was a presenter of various topics on diabetes in children at conferences sponsored by the Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative, The National Association of School Nurses, The Six NJ Maternal/Child Consortia and the New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services, Horizon New Jersey Health, and many local schools and school districts.
I give yearly updates and refresher in-services for the pediatric and PICU staff nurses at Cooper University Hospital on the care of the child with diabetes and the teaching of survival skills to the newly diagnosed child and their family/guardians.
Each year, I speak with school nurses in many school districts across NJ, introducing them to new treatment regimens, carbohydrate counting, insulin pumps, and refreshing their general diabetes knowledge.
I have been a guest speaker twice at the Southern NJ Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Outreach group.
I am a member of GSADE (Garden State Association of Diabetes Educators), newsletter editor for TRI-ade, (Tri-state Association of Diabetes Educators) and AADE (American Association of Diabetes Educators).
I have 28 years of nursing experience, 17 years of pediatric nursing experience, 7 years as a Pediatric Diabetes Educator, and care for over 300 pediatric patients with diabetes. I have lived with diabetes myself since my diagnosis at age 12 years and spent 20 years raising my son who was diagnosed with diabetes at 3 years old. I have worked as a staff nurse at Camp NEJEDA, a camp for children with diabetes for7 years, the last two as a charge nurse, supervising the care of 80 children with diabetes and a staff of 8 – 10 nurses.
I am part of the Pediatric Diabetes Team at Cooper University Hospital, working with all of the children with diabetes, their families, guardians, school nurses, and primary physicians. My position is to educate about treatment options, prevention of complications, and making adjustments to improve blood sugar control. I keep the children, their families, and our own doctors, abreast of the ever changing recommendations, equipment, medications, and new items on the diabetes market. I speak to groups, parents, nurses, doctors, teachers, and support groups about all subjects concerning diabetes and children. I hold group classes for specific topics such as “Taking Diabetes to College” or “Diabetes for the Caregiver”. I also hold in-services for the Pediatric and PICU nurses at Cooper to keep them abreast of the ever changing world of diabetes.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, back in the dark ages, November 3, 1972, at the ripe old age of 12 years (yes, I’ll be 48 this year)! Surviving one shot a day and urine tests, I moved into the modern age during the first of 3 pregnancies. Although I thought multiple injections and multiple blood sugar tests was for the birds, and just the means to an end, a healthy pregnancy and baby, I discovered that I truly felt physically and mentally much better. I have 3 beautiful children and have since moved into age of technology with pumping and Continuous Glucose Monitoring. The devastation of diabetes again darkened my door on November 28, 1986, when my oldest child, my beautiful healthy 3 year old son, Frank, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I believe in fate. I believe things happen for a reason. I believe that’s why I’m here and why I do what I do, why my nursing career has moved from adults, to children, to children with diabetes and why my heart is always in my work as well as my brain, and why ALL of my patients are “my kids.”
Michelle Laranko, RN, CDE
Pediatric Diabetes Educator
Cooper Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology
3 Cooper Plaza, Suite 200
Camden, NJ 08103
Photo Above: Michelle Laranko
Listen to Diabetes Living Today interview
6/3/08 ~ Michelle Laranko, RN, CDE, CPN