Renal Dialysis Nursing

Learn How to Become a Dialysis Nurse

Dialysis nurses, also called renal or nephrology nurses, focus on kidney conditions. Dialysis nurses must be aware of the signs of kidney failure and must evaluate their patients regularly to make sure treatments are effective. Dialysis nurses develop a close relationship with patients and their families, as dialysis treatment is typically required three days a week. In addition, patients must be actively involved in their health management — particularly nutrition and exercise — to maximize the benefits.

Preparation Path

  • Earn your BSN
  • Pass the NCLEX and become an RN
  • Gain 2,000 hours or more of experience in nephrology nursing
  • Pass the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC)’s Certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN) exam (Candidates must have cared for dialysis patients within two years and have completed 15 contact hours of continuing education in nephrology nursing.)

Annual Salary Range
$64,000 – 89,500

Typical Tasks

  • Consulting with doctors regarding a patient’s overall treatment plan
  • Alerting doctors to any changes in a patient’s condition
  • Ensuring that dialysis equipment is working properly
  • Working with a dialysis team and technicians who manage dialysis machine operation

Employment Settings

Freestanding or hospital-based dialysis units


RN, Certified Dialysis Nurse

Education Requirements


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