Dialysis nurses must be BCLS certified but may also need ACLS certification. There are two certifications you can pursue: Certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN) and Certified Nephrology Nurse (CNN). A CDN requires 2,000 hours of dialysis experience within the last 12 months, along with 20 contact hours of continuing education. A CNN requires you to have a BSN and 3,000 hours of nephrology experience and 30 contact hours of continuing education.
With experience, some dialysis nurses become nephrology case managers, transplant coordinators, or nurse educators. Others go on to get their MSN or doctoral degree as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) in nephrology.
You can also get your Nurse Practitioner (NP) degree with nephrology focus and become certified as a Certified Nephrology Nurse-NP (CNN-NP).