Nephrology Nursing Certification

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    I have been working on a Nephrology/Transplant Unit (med-surg) in a hospital for almost three years now. I am interested in getting certified as a Nephrology Nurse. Presently, nobody on our unit is certified. I spoke to a nurse who attempted to apply years ago and she said that the exam has a lot of hemodialysis content which makes it quite difficult. Our unit cares for renal patients, a number of them are in HD, but we do not perform the dialysis treatments thus we are unfamiliar with the technical aspect of it. I do have a decent understanding of the concept behind HD and other renal replacement therapies.

    I checked the NNCC website and I learned that there is actually another certification for Dialysis Nurses. I am just wondering if anyone knows how the hemodialysis portion of the certification exam for Nephro Nurses and Dialysis Nurses differ. Is it really that technical on the Nephro Nurses exam? By technical, I mean, does it include questions about the hemodialysis procedure itself such as machine operation, water treatment, dialysate, chemical treatments, etc?

    Hoping someone could give me more insight. Thanks fellow RNs! =]
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  3. 10 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    The CNN and CDN certification are certifications for dialysis nurses (nephrology nurses), not for nurses working with renal patients in the hospital.

    The certification is very specific to dialysis, both hemo & PD, and transplantation.
    Approximately one-third of the exam tests the RN's knowledge of hemodialysis. The physiology of renal failure makes up approximately one-third of the exam, with concepts in peritoneal dialysis and renal transplant making up the rest of the exam. The CNN exam contains 200 questions total.
  5. 0
    I am knowledgeable on renal failure. I am also skilled in peritoneal dialysis and kidney/pancreas transplant. It is the hemodialysis portion of the exam that would most likely be a challenge for me. I do intend to apply for CNN. I guess the best I could do is to focus and study more about HD - concept, procedure, etc. But without HD experience, would I actually have the chance of passing the exam?
  6. 0
    Check first to see if you would even qualify to sit for the exam. There are restrictions as to how many hours you need to have worked in dialysis before you can take the exam. Since you don't do hemodialysis, I don't think you would qualify.
    The website you checked before has all the requirements.

    I personally know dialysis nurses who has been doing hemo for many many years that still can't pass the exam. I took the exam about 18 years ago and I had been in dialysis for 3 years at that time. It was not easy and I studied alot for it.
  7. 0
    Thank you Tish88!
  8. 1
    I'm a new grad who has a new grad classmate who just got hired at a dialysis center. She spoke of starting her orientation/training soon.


    The next day, I picked up a catalog at our local tech college for college courses, and noticed the continuing education catalog as well so I picked it up. On thumbing through it, I was surprised to learn that one can take classes to become trained in dialysis specifically, without being an LPN or RN, through the tech college. It cost about $2000 an 5 months for the classes.


    I don't know if this helps, but part of the program included clinical hours in facilities doing dialysis on patients.


    If I had the time/ $$$ I would probably do it for the training.
    MSHAH647 likes this.
  9. 0
    Are the CNN and CDN certifications recognized in other countries? Like if I was certified then would like to work for a couple of years in the Caribbean or Europe?
  10. 0
    Those certificates are sponsored by ANNA, an American organization. The BONET is international, so is better known worldwide. I took it instead, ANNA requires a bunch of "their" CEUs even to sit for the exam.
  11. 0
    RN625,

    How was the BONENT exam?
  12. 0
    ANNA does not require you to have "their" CE's to sit for their exam.

    The majority of PCT's who take an exam do not have any CE's prior to taking the exam.


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