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CNN vs CDN

Posted

Specializes in Renal Dialysis. Has 8 years experience.

I'm a new hemodialysis nurse working in the hospital. My job just announced they are going to start giving pay raises for holding certification (in addition to paying the fees). So I started looking around at what the requirements were so I could be ready for the exam once I've had enough experience. That's where I discoevered there is Certified Nephrology Nurse and Certified Dialysis Nurse options with different requirements. What's the difference?? Since I work in the hospital setting I work with all renal patients (AKI, chronic, transplant, etc) but my actual job is ONLY hemodialysis so I assumed I should just take CDN. How do you decide? Can you take both? Are they looked upon differently?

Edited by CFrancine

Chisca, RN

Specializes in Dialysis. Has 37 years experience.

CDN for nurses with associate's degree. CNN for nurses with bachelor's degree. ANNA thinks there is a difference.

CFrancine, BSN, RN

Specializes in Renal Dialysis. Has 8 years experience.

OK I relooked at the requirements. The CDN doesn't say what education level you need. But the requirements are less in regards to the number of hours and experience. Can I start with the CDN and then try for the CNN at a later time?

Chisca, RN

Specializes in Dialysis. Has 37 years experience.

It's 300 dollars for each exam and I think they only offer it twice a year. If your employer is willing to pay I guess you could take both. The CNN has more transplant questions so if you are not familiar be sure to study. I think anyone who is currently working as a dialysis nurse could pass the CDN as it is focused on the technical aspects of dialysis.

NurseRies, BSN, RN

Specializes in Nephrology, Dialysis, Plasmapheresis. Has 7 years experience.

Chisca is right- CDN associates or bachelors, CNN bachelors only. CNN 3 years, CDN 2. They have recently changed requirements as well, are you looking at the NNCC website? CNN is geared towards Acute care nurses, so you have to work in a setting where you do more then just HD. If you work in an outpatient clinic and do HD only, even if you have a bachelors, you will likely not be eligible for the CNN.

I got the CDN when I worked in the clinic. I have been doing acutes now for a few years and just got my CNN in May. I don't need both and it probably going to be too expensive to keep both so I'll prob let the CDN lapse. As far as testing, I got a permit and could schedule the test at a computerized testing center pretty much every day of the week at different times. Once you get your permit for the test, you only have a certain amount of time to take it.