Dialysis Training for Registered Nurses: Careers in Nephrology

If you are currently work as a Registered Nurse and interested in obtaining additional training to perform dialysis on patients, then you’ll need to know more about the training and educational requirements. Dialysis is a medical procedure performed on patients whose kidneys are not working properly. Your kidneys filter the waste in your body and when your kidneys are not performing their function, dialysis is performed to carry out their functions.

Dialysis Nurses are considered a specialty nursing area. Another term for this type of nursing is Nephrology Nursing. You must have a Registered Nurse certification, and be licensed in your state.

The dialysis exam is called the CDN. Plan on four hours to complete the 200 question test. In order to pass the exam, you must score a 70-75%. The certification for dialysis lasts for three years. You must be an RN and then you must have dialysis training and pass the exam that licenses nurses to work in this specialty. Additionally, you must have logged 2,000 hours with renal patients during the previous two years.

However, there are other levels of exams for dialysis training. The CNN exam is a dialysis certification for nurses who do not have the 2,000 hours with renal patients.

Also, there is an exam specific to specialty nurses, who have the Nurse Practitioner designation. Nurse Practitioners have more education, training, and certification than standard RNs. Their dialysis exam is specific to them. It’s called the CNN-NP. Candidates must have an RN certification, and 2,000 hours with renal patients logged over the prior two years.

After three years, you must renew the certification. To be eligible, you must have spent at least half of all the hours you worked as a nurse in the last three years working in Nephrology. You have to have spent 1,000 hours working in Dialysis Nursing. Additionally, you must have completed 30 hours of continuing education in Dialysis.

Dialysis training for registered nurses is hands-on and practical, like most RN education. But you will also learn about the anatomy and function of the kidney. The causes of renal failure and the history of Dialysis will also be part of your coursework. Training takes between 40 and 50 hours of classes.

The salary for a Dialysis Nurse is substantial. Additionally, you are much more marketable with the training and certification. More jobs will be available to you. Additionally, Nephrology Nursing continually suffers from shortages. In fact, those nurses who are certified in Dialysis often work extra shifts to ensure patients have the care they need. So gaining this certification will open many doors and you will have your pick of jobs.

Obtaining this training and education will open the door for a rewarding specialty in Nursing. There is a high level of job satisfaction in this specialty area. Developing relationships with patients is a critical characteristic and skill of Nephrology Nurses as patients will often be long-term relationships once they get on Dialysis. Some patients will die while under the care of a Nephrology department.

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