Dialysis nursing professionals are often called renal or nephrology nurses. These healthcare workers focus on conditions of the kidneys. Dialysis is the medical procedure that eliminates toxins that build up in the body when the kidneys fail. Dialysis nurses provide direct care to patients with renal failure.
Educational Requirements for Dialysis Nursing
Dialysis nurses must be aware of the signs of renal failure as well as how this affects the other body systems. To become a dialysis nursing professional, you must first attend either a two year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program or a four year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. After completing the course, you will need to score well on the NCLEX-RN test. Successful pass on this test earns you the title of “registered nurse” or “RN.”
To gain entry into RN programs, you may need to take the TEAS test. A solid score is expected for applicants. Many BSN programs now require this as part of the admissions process. Additionally, you will need good high school or undergraduate grades, letters of recommendation, and a descent SAT score.
Dialysis Nurse Certification
The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) offers certification for RNs who work in dialysis nursing. The applicant must hold an active, unrestricted RN license, have at least 3,000 hours of nephrology nursing experience within the last three years, and possess a BSN or higher degree.
Dialysis Nursing Career Opportunities and Salaries
The majority of dialysis nurse are employed by privately owned dialysis centers. Many nurses in this profession work in renal units of hospitals and healthcare facilities. Additionally, some dialysis nurses work for nephrologists. The salary of a dialysis nurse varies, based on degree level, years of experience, and location of practice. A RN with certification can earn anywhere from $55,000 to $72,000 annually, according to most web sources.
Job Duties of the Dialysis Nurse
Dialysis nurses provide specialized care to renal patients and maintain proper function of dialysis equipment. A dialysis team can include technicians who assist the nurses in basic duties. Typical job duties include consulting with physicians regarding the patient’s condition and treatment plan, operating dialysis equipment, monitoring laboratory values, and maintaining medical records.
ANA (2013): http://www.nursingworld.org/
BLS (2010): http://www.bls.gov/
Nurse.Org (2013): http://www.nurse.org/orgs.shtml