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Purpose: In order to increase the quality of nursing care for patients with diabetes mellitus, it is important for clinical nurses to accept changes in diabetes knowledge and correct their approach immediately. This approach will also contribute to effective nursing practice. Methods: The study was designed to investigate the level of knowledge and diffusion of knowledge for nursing care of patients with diabetes mellitus among clinical nurses. It was conducted with nurses from 29 general hospitals in Korea from November 3 to December 5, 2008. The questionnaire consisted of 129 items and it was sent to the participants by mail. Of the 1,060 questionnaires returned, only 930 were valid for use in the statistical analysis. Results: 1) The average score for clinical nurses' knowledge of diabetes mellitus was 0.67 out of 1.0. 2) The level of persuasion of knowledge for nursing care of patients with diabetes mellitus averaged 0.64 out of 1.0 3) The level of practical application of knowledge for nursing care of patients with diabetes mellitus averaged 1.05 out of 2.0, indicating that they applied their knowledge sometimes . 4) The level of diffusion of knowledge for nursing care of patients with diabetes mellitus was 2.37 out of 4.0 and level was estimated as the stage of persuasion . 5) There were significant differences in nursing knowledge of diabetes mellitus, according to experience in practical education for diabetes mellitus. Conclusion: The results indicate that nurses with a lower level of knowledge of diabetes mellitus have a lower level of persuasion of knowledge for nursing care of patients with diabetes mellitus and lower practical application. To improve the level of nurses' knowledge of diabetes mellitus, practical training programs are needed for areas in which knowledge level is low, such as diagnosis and management of diabetes mellitus , oral diabetes medication , and glucose control in special conditions .