Nephrology Nurses Week kicks off today and is a time to appreciate the dedication and expertise nephrology nurses bring to their roles.

Nephrology nurses have a distinct role in helping patients across the age spectrum who are dealing with issues concerning kidney function and health. Whether it’s a family history that predisposes someone to kidney disease, an older patient who is coping with a new diagnosis, a teen recovering from a kidney transplant, or a person with advanced end stage kidney disease, nephrology nurses specialize in all the ways to help patients.

Anyone interested in a career as a nephrology nurse can reference the American Nephrology Nurses Association for background information, career tips, certification information, and guidance. Nephrology nurses can flourish in any number of settings from corporate to home care to a coordinator of dialysis or transplant services. They have a broad knowledge of the entire body system and will know how kidney function will impact the rest of the body.

Often nephrology nurses will administer the frequent dialysis needed to keep a patient functioning. They might also counsel patients and their families who are preparing for a kidney transplant or recovering from one. Their expertise in helping both the patient learn about typical expected symptoms or results and in helping family members care for a patient will make a significant difference in physical and emotional recovery.

With the rapid treatment advances for complex health issues, many nephrology nurses become well-versed in the many conditions patients have and how those conditions can impact the kidneys and treatments for kidney disease. Because of this, they need excellent teamwork skills and critical thinking skills that will help them assess and prioritize care in crisis situations.

As with other specialties, obtaining certification improves your knowledge base, and it also helps you serve your patients to the best of your abilities. Certification is available for several areas of nephrology nursing including as a nephrology nurse, as a nephrology nurse practitioner, as a dialysis nurse, as a dialysis LPN, or even as a clinical hemodialysis technician.

Studying for and passing a certification exam is well within your reach, especially if you have been in the field for a while. You very likely already know a good deal of the information. But certification helps you stay up-to-date on the latest evidence-based practices, technology, and treatment, and also gives you a peek into the exciting developments in the industry.

As you gain more training, your employment becomes even more valuable to your organization. Certification also shows your dedication to your role. Taking the extra time to advance your learning shows the kind of attention to detail and commitment to high-quality care that employers want to see. When career advisers talk about showing your skills and your results, certification fits the bill.

Take this week to appreciate nephrology nurses and to find out more about the career if it sounds appealing to you.

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil is a freelance writer based in Bolton, Massachusetts.
Julia Quinn-Szcesuil

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