becoming a renal dialysis RN

Specialties Urology


I would like some input from renal dialysis nurses that work in renal clinics. I am about to graduate from RN school hopefully this May. I have been an LVN for the past 4 years working in a small rural hospital in the Emergency Department. I have been thinking about working at the local dialysis clinic. I have spoken with the DON at the clinic and has offered me a job after I graduate. My question is what is it that you like most about your job and the least. Any input would help.


48 Posts

Hi - and congratulations on your upcoming release from the clutches of nursing school!!!! I went into dialysis after being an LPN for 5 years in LTC and an RN with 2 yrs. acute care experience. The pros: Dialysis is very involved, and very interesting. The day flies by. You get to know the patients well and can interact with them. Once you learn dialysis - you know it. No holidays and no weekends.

Cons: Usually you are working with a group of mostly women in a confined space. If someone is having a bad day - everyone is having a bad day. Team nursing is essential to dialysis. Then you get the Center Directors (DON) who usually have limited management experience (and it shows!!!). Not to mention the noncompliant patients!And the exposure risk to all that blood>

The days are long.....we work 3-15hr days per week.

So - that's the long and short of it. I don't know if I hurt or helped. But one thing I know for sure - you are either going to love dialysis - or you will hate it.

Good Luck.


439 Posts

Specializes in Community, Renal, OR.

Hi, I love the continuity of the patient population, yes this has negative as well as positive points, but the relationships that you develop with long term patients is very rewarding.

I also love the knowledge base of renal nursing, it can initally appear to be as complicated as rocket science, but when it all comes together, you really know your specialty.

Good luck, and don't be afraid to ask questions, here on this notice board, and at work.


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