How to Become a Nephrology Nurse

How to Become a Nephrology Nurse

Nephrology is an area of internal medicine that concentrates on studying the function and conditions of the kidneys. Nephrology nurses are registered nurses that are specially trained to care for patients with a variety of conditions affecting the kidneys.

What does a nephrology nurse do?

Nephrology nurses provide care to patients with a many different kidney related ailments such as kidney disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. They aim to prevent disease and evaluate the medical needs of patients and their families. They provide support to the patient and educate them about their conditions, risk factors, treatments, and progress. They record family history of kidney issues and provide advice to patients who are at risk. Nephrology nurses assist physicians with many different treatment options such dialysis, transplantation, renal replacement therapy, and administering medications.

What kind of training does a nephrology nurse need?

Nephrology nurses must earn their registered nurse degree by completing a diploma, associate degree, or bachelor degree program. Most employers prefer applicants with at least a bachelor degree in nursing. Many nephrology nurses have a master degree in nursing. All registered nurses must be licensed by passing the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX). Many nephrology nurses gain the Certified Nephrology Nurse designation from the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission to remain competitive in the field. Nephrology nurses must complete continuing education to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast on advancements in the field. They often attend workshops, conferences, and seminars on a regular basis. The American Nephrology Nurses Association offers a variety of educational events every year.

What are the prospects for a career as a nephrology nurse?

Employment of all registered nurses is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 23% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The growing and aging population and increased need for nephrology services will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be excellent especially for nephrology nurses with advanced training and extensive experience. Numerous job openings will arise from the need to replace nephrology nurses that retire, transfer, or leave the occupation for other reasons

How much do nephrology nurses make?

As of December 2009, the average annual salary for nephrology nurses is $73,000; average annual nephrology nurse salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience and benefits (2).

A career as a nephrology nurse is a great choice for individuals with a strong interest in nephrology and providing care to patients with a variety of kidney conditions. Nephrology nurses must have a solid knowledge of the diagnosis and treatment of many different conditions and diseases related to the kidneys. They must be highly skilled, motivated, patient, and be able to help patients feel at ease. They must also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and be able to work as part of team. Nephrology nurses must be able to work effectively under stress and make quick decisions in emergency situations.

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