Dialysis Nurse


Dialysis Nurse Salary

An average hourly pay rate of $38 is seen for a dialysis nurse working in the United States as of Aug. 2019. Typically, a dialysis staff nurse in the United States has salary ranges from $70,079 and $94,761 per year.

The varied salary ranges depend on many important factors to include years of experience, education, additional skills, and certifications. Other than the needed skills and education, geography also plays a major role in determining the annual yearly pay of dialysis nurse.

First among the states in the United States offering the highest annual pay scale for dialysis nurses is Washington, D.C. The annual pay rate of $81,000 is seen as 25% higher compared to average nursing salaries in the country.

On the other hand, Hawaii offering an average annual salary of $47,000 for dialysis nurses shows 28% lower rate compared to other states in the country. This low salary bracket ranks Hawaii to 50th place, the lowest among states in the country.

Overall, experience, education, and region are the important factors that determine the average range salary for dialysis nurses. It can be stated that average annual salaries for both advanced practice registered nurses and registered nurses specializing in nephrology range between $44,000 and $95,000.

Medical facilities and private practices are likely to offer work positions for dialysis nurses. However, it should be noted that hospitals are the highest paying employers for dialysis nurses. Based on the information from the United States Board of Labor Statistics, the outlook for dialysis nurses remains robust with a 26% increase for the next decade.

A Day in the Life of a Dialysis Nurse


As with other types of nurses, a lot of variation happens in the day of a dialysis nurse. Other than being a technical expert, dialysis nurses assume roles as a mentor, caregiver, facilitator, advocate, and educator.

The care can happen in any medical setting from a dialysis unit, a university, hospital, a nursing home, a doctor’s office, and even a prison! The diversity of roles and settings performed in by dialysis nurses make this specialization one of the best nursing careers to go for.

The setting determines the responsibilities to be handled by dialysis nurses. The various settings may include:

  1. Outpatient dialysis unit

    A dialysis therapy ordered by a doctor or a nurse practitioner is to be provided by a dialysis nurse. Other responsibilities assumed by a dialysis nurse in an outpatient dialysis unit is teaching patients about their medications, disease, diet, and other lifestyle choices to help manage their condition.

  2. Home dialysis therapy

    A dialysis nurse performing dialysis therapy in a patient’s home needs to educate the patient and family caregivers about the therapy. The patient and family caregivers are also taught by the dialysis nurse on the ways to perform the therapy if the home dialysis is the chosen treatment process.

  3. Inpatient Hospital unit

    An inpatient hospital setting usually involves kidney transplants. Providing acute care is the responsibility of a dialysis nurse in an inpatient hospital setting. Helping a patient to go home as soon as possible requires a dialysis nurse to implement the best recuperative care.

Regardless of the setting, the various responsibilities and duties performed by dialysis nurses include:

  • Assessing and checking the severity of the symptoms of the patient’s condition
  • Doing a review of the medications, home activities, and lab tests of the various patients
  • Doing health teaching about lifestyle choices to help patients manage their conditions and treatments
  • Dialysis performance to eliminate toxic substances and waste products from the blood
  • Manage and maintain dialysis equipment, systems, and machines
  • Provide nursing care to patients with acute or chronic kidney failure
  • Counsel and instruct patients and their caregivers about any concerns on dialysis nursing care
  • Monitor response of various patients to the treatment interventions
  • Administer to patients the medications prescribed by nephrologists or physicians
  • Respectable and considerate collaboration with the assigned nephrology team about the manner of care to the various patients
  • Ensure patient comfort at all times while doing the various functions as a dialysis nurse

1 to 5 is the stages listed for CKD or chronic kidney disease. Dialysis nurses need to have the flexibility and ability to handle all CKD stages.

How to Become a Dialysis Nurse


A nephrology nurse, commonly known as a dialysis nurse, specializes in caring for patients with acquired or inherited kidney failure. A certified registered nurse specializing in renal care is the only nurse that can handle Hemodialysis treatment.

Specializing as a nephrology nurse requires education, licensure, experience, and certification. The first step is to complete an undergraduate diploma or degree in Nursing.

The next step is to apply and pass the RN or registered nurse licensure exam. An RN will only be able to qualify to get the dialysis nurse certification exam if he/she has acquired the required nephrology nursing work experience.

The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission recognizes only two types of Nephrology Nursing Certifications, to include:

CNN or Certified Nephrology Nurse

Obtaining this certification needs the following requirements:

  • An unrestricted and active USA nursing license
  • Approved continuing nephrology education credit of 30 hours for the past 3 years
  • Nephrology work experience of more than 3,000 hours
  • Meet working experience requirements for specific diseases affecting patients
  • Pass the exam
  • Fee payment

CDN or Certified Dialysis Nurse

Obtaining this certification needs the following requirements:

  • An unrestricted and active USA nursing license
  • Approved continuing nephrology education of 20 hours for the past 2 years
  • Nephrology work experience of more than 2,000 hours
  • Pass the exam
  • Fee payment

Job Outlook for Dialysis Nurses

Nephrology nurse employment outlook remains robust with the rising demand for RN specialization. The next few years are expected to bring in more employment opportunities for dialysis nurses.

Altogether, the current demand for nephrology will not stop. The demand for nephrology nurses is seen to rise over the years, making this specialization a great career choice.

Are you all set to start a career as a nephrology nurse? If you are, the first step is to scout around for the best nursing colleges and universities in your area.