Dialysis nurses are just one of the many types of nurses that care for ill patients. Many healthy people are happy that the nursing profession exists. Nurses provide care for patients in need so that they can restore their good health. When the patients’ bodies are no longer able to perform basic functions on their own, a dialysis nurse helps these individuals so that they can remain healthy and strong.
Dialysis nurses do not have easy jobs and their jobs are extremely specialized and tedious, but the patients who they help to keep alive thank them for the services that they provide.
Dialysis Nurse Job Description
Dialysis nurses help patients with kidneys that no longer function properly. Since the kidneys are responsible for regulating electrolytes and bodily fluids, and disposing of the body’s impurities and toxins, it is very important to substitute these functions to prevent kidney failure. Dialysis nurses provide two types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
A dialysis nurse uses special equipment in order to take care of patients. These individuals monitor patients before, during, and after they have completed their dialysis treatments. Dialysis nurses also provide guidance for patients in the area of proper dialysis management, including proper diet and activities in which to avoid. These nurses also ensure that the dialysis equipment is always working properly for patients.
Dialysis nurses must have exceptional knowledge of the processes that take place in the bodies of their patients. These nurses must have expert knowledge of the proper function of all dialysis-related equipment and keep these pieces of equipment in proper working order. Perhaps the most important role of a dialysis nurse is providing care that does not cause complications or infections in the patients. They must also provide effective patient education to each of their dialysis patients.
Dialysis Nurse Requirements
Dialysis nurses must graduate from a college or university that offers an accredited nursing school. It takes 1 to 4 years to earn a diploma or a degree in nursing and an additional 1 to 2 years to earn a masters degree in nursing. The option to complete the degree through a traditional on campus college or an online nursing program is available. Accelerated and advanced nursing programs are also available as an education option.
Dialysis nurses are required to be registered nurses so they must take the NCLEX-RN before seeking certification to become dialysis nurses. Dialysis nursing or nephrology nursing requires additional certification to earn the specialized nursing credential.
The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission offers nurses three different areas of certification to become dialysis nurses, including:
- Certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN) for registered nurses with a minimum of 2000 hours or related experience in a dialysis care center.
- Certified Nephrology Nurse (CNN) for registered nurses with at least 2 years of work-related experience in a nephrology care center and a bachelors degree in nursing.
- Certified Nephrology Nurse- Nurse Practitioner (CNN-NP) for registered nurses with masters degrees in nursing and at least 2000 hours of experience working in a dialysis care center.
- Each state has requirements for certification and degrees so it is a good idea to contact the board of nursing in the state of practice to determine the specific requirements.
Dialysis Nurse Salary
A dialysis nursing salary depends greatly on the location, education, experience, and certification. The median annual salaries for dialysis nurses are $69,381 with many opportunities to make additional wages. An entry-level position for dialysis nurses can earn nurses $50,000 annually. With 1 to 4 years of experience, they can expect to make minimum annual salaries of $52,000. Dialysis nurses with 5 to 9 years of experience can earn annual wages of $60,000. With 10 to 19 years of nursing experience, dialysis nurses can earn annual wages of $68,000 or more. 20 years or more of dialysis nursing experience can provide high wages of $80,000 or more annually.
Dialysis Nurse Jobs Outlook
The outlook for dialysis nursing jobs are very promising for those who have the necessary certification and experience. As the population of elderly patients increases due to longer life expectancy, so does the need for dialysis nurses that can handle the demand. These nurses must be able to keep up with the rapidly advancing medical technology involved in dialysis nursing. The demand for dialysis nurses will grow to 22% over the next decade.
Dialysis nurses have a high level of job satisfaction, and they have excellent working conditions. The job does come with some stress due to the high level of responsibility and high patient loads, but dialysis nurses help patients enjoy a longer, satisfying life.