The demand for dialysis nurses, also nephrology nurses, is currently expanding at a rapid pace. According to BLS, increased healthcare availability and current retiring nurses are the two major factors that will see dialysis nurse jobs increase by 15 percent between 2016 and 2026. This job growth coupled with the rewards and satisfaction that comes from helping people are perhaps some of the reasons you have considered a career path as a dialysis nurse. But would you really be a good fit? Here’s what you need to know about becoming a nephrology nurse.
Dialysis Nurse Job Requirements: Become a Licensed RN
To work as a nephrology nurse, you have to first become a licensed Registered Nurse (RN) or Advanced Practice Nurse (APRN). In other words, you must complete an accredited nursing program. This can either be a two-year associate’s degree (ADN), three- year diploma degree or four-year bachelor’s degree in nursing. Regardless of the program, it’s imperative that you enroll for one that offers classes specifically for the field of dialysis nursing.
Upon graduation, you must take and pass the nursing boards examination (NECLEX-RN) before obtaining a state license. Although this is enough to start working, it might be a good idea to pursue a master’s degree in nursing. This does not only help you become an advanced practice nurse but gives you an added edge over the competition. Completing continuing education in this field helps you maintain licensure.
Have the Relevant Experience
In nephrology nursing, experience reigns supreme. It is the single most valued component during kidney transplant procedures, outpatient dialysis units, and acute critical care settings. Therefore, you should have experience working as a registered nurse in a nephrology unit. This will help increase your job prospects in the increasingly competitive marketplace.
Obtain Necessary Certifications
Becoming a dialysis nurse is a series of lifetime learning and skills development. Besides completing the nursing programs, it’s vital that you have the necessary certifications. So, if you want an easy job hunt while looking for dialysis nurse jobs, consider becoming a Certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN). Unfortunately, achieving this is no mean feat. You must have worked as a registered nurse and have at least 15 hours of continuing nephrology education in the past two years. Also, you must have accumulated a minimum of 2,000 hours of nursing experience in the field over the last two years.
Other Important Qualities in a Dialysis Nurse
Dialysis is such a lengthy and detail-oriented procedure. On top of that, it involves working with people of all ages, including the elderly and children, who are at different stages of kidney disease. For that reason, you must be a compassionate individual with strong emotional stability. Attention to detail is another must-have quality. It can mean the difference between life and death: adding a decimal point in the wrong place on a patient’s record could mean prescribing a very incorrect medication. Communication also plays an important role when forming a proper diagnosis and conveying vital information to other medical professionals. Above all, you must manifest critical thinking skills. Perhaps, this is because you will be working in emergencies that require snap decisions.
Ready to Start a Career as a Certified Dialysis Nurse?
Are you ready to begin a career as a nephrology nurse? Browse our website to view dialysis nurse jobs that match your search criteria. If you’d like to receive new email job alerts every time they are added to our database, be sure to sign up today. We will notify you every time new jobs are added to our database.