The best start to becoming a dialysis RN?

Specialties Urology


I have at least a year before I get into the nursing program, but I do have a question about becoming a dialysis nurse. What would you experienced RNs suggest for new grads interested in this area? Going straight into dialysis? or working for a while before applying?



36 Posts

I'm also interested in Dialysis Nursing. One of my patients who is undergoing dialysis told me that he knows RNs who make $100k/year. Is that true? He also suggested an RN who is teaching certification for $5k, is this better than going to Gambro?

I am however concerned of the health risks invlove such as contracting Hep C or HIV. Does being a dialysis nurse open opportunities for travel nursing? Thank you and have a woderful week.

Hellllllo Nurse, BSN, RN

3 Articles; 3,563 Posts

Dialysis actually pays less for RNs (in most areas) than other kinds of nursing. Ususally $17. to $21. an hour to start. There are lots of travel jobs for dialysis nurses, including cruise ship work.

We have pts w/ HIV, Hep B and C in my unit.

But, you will have pts w/ these diseases in any kind of nursing.

Some acute/emergency dialysis nurses make pretty good money.

I've never heard of any nurse except anesthetists making 100K a year.

Most companies will train nurses to do chronic dialysis. A lot of acutes want nurses who have some dialysis experience. I looked into traveling, and most places require two years dialysis experience.


375 Posts

I work needs good med/surg or ICU skills. Too many chronic dialysis nurses have no other experiences.


593 Posts

Thanks ageless. As I feel that it is in the best interest of my patients, I plan on starting with med/surg and then possibly to a little ICU first.



36 Posts

Thanks for your replies. I'm ordered a book about Dialysis Nursing so I can better decide. Thanks and have a great week.


My name is Darcy. I am RN certified in Medical Surgical Nursing cardiac telemetry. I am looking to change my career in nursing to dialysis. I just inquired for a position on the off shift 10:30am to 8:30pm. I knowa little about dialysis, in my career I have taken care of renal patients both in LTC and hospital.

I took a $9.00 pay cut as well, going from 29hr to 20-21hr, but there are good benefits and it is closer to my home. I always wanted to do dialysis, but was not going to get up at 4am and work 5:30am to 3pm. I am not an early bird. I can do 10:30a better.

When I saw the opportunity advertised for off shift I jumped on it. Of course I was floored by the pay scale. All the responsibility nurses have and some of us have BS a 4 year college degree and we are subject to wages like this. I am 40 years old and I just read in the paper where the IRS is training people in a new training program. The pay scale is between $17-20 an hour high school diploma required, so a nurse with a four year college degree making 20-21hr in dialysis what a person with no degree can make in this IRS program. Now, I realize it may not be like that with all jobs that do not require a degree, but I have seen CNA's make $11hr, and LPN's make $2 dollars less than RN's and we work three time as hard. I feel like I can say this because I started on the bottom, CNA, LPN and RN. I know exactly what goes on. I have no clue what Patient Care techs make that would be interesting to me.

I was the Unit Team Leader on a busy MS acute medicine (and every one was sick, very sick)unit 40 beds and 8 telemetry. As RN I did everything including patient care. I worked for the government Veteran's hospital. LPN's could not do IV punctures, admissions or discharges, so we had that with everything else. Well, some days I felt like I was the one doing all the work. It was not their fault it was the system.

However, I am trying not to let the pay scale in dialysis influence me otherwise. I really want this training and opportunity to work in dialysis. I walked through the unit the other day and was quiet impressed. I see the dialysis RN has much responsiblity.

I bought a book on called "Dialysis Therapy" hope it comes before I start my position. I really would like to read some before launching into a new relm of nursing, but oh well, there training program is 3 months long so they say. We will see. I should get pretty much familiar with the system if it is three months long.

If anyone can share materials online, educational sources or any of their knowledge please email at

Thanks for listening!

Darcy :confused:

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