What is a Dialysis Nurse?
March 2023

How Much Does a Dialysis Nurse Make?

What is a Dialysis Nurse?

How much a Dialysis Nurse makes depends on years of experience, employer, geographic location, and also if they hold a certification.

What is a Dialysis Nurse?

A dialysis nurse’s job description is to monitor a patient’s treatment, update medical records, and also the medical team on the patient’s health. These nurses play an integral role in the lives of those suffering from kidney disease or kidney failure. They are part of a group of medical personnel in the nephrology unit.

While many dialysis nurses usually treat patients needing dialysis, they also work with patients experiencing a wide range of kidney-related issues or those that need to rid their bodies of waste. This is a critical job and the lives of those with advanced kidney disease depend on these providers to keep them from succumbing to their disease. There are also a number of related job titles, such as Clinical Nurse Specialist, Case Manager, Nephrology Nurse Practitioner, or Dialysis Coordinator.

What is it Like to be a Dialysis Nurse?

Is dialysis nursing stressful? Being a dialysis registered nurse is an extremely rewarding career choice. They care for patients receiving dialysis treatment for various kidney issues. These nurses will administer medication, care for the patient during dialysis, and provide the patient with a care plan to educate them about their disease. Dialysis nurses also provide care instructions to ensure patients follow the proper diet and other guidelines and restrictions.

What Does a Dialysis Nurse Do?

Is it hard being a Dialysis Nurse? The duties of a dialysis nurse are varied from day to day. Overall, they support patients that need dialysis due to kidney failure when their kidneys can no longer rid the body of waste.

A Dialysis Registered Nurse (RN) provides direct patient care to patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who are undergoing dialysis treatments. The RN is responsible for assessing, planning, implementing, and managing the care of dialysis patients. They provide education to patients and families on the dialysis process, medications, diet, and other lifestyle modifications.

A dialysis registered nurse may also assist with the initiation and management of dialysis catheters. The Registered Nurse or RN may also be responsible for coordinating care with other healthcare professionals, such as nephrologists, dietitians, and social workers.

Dialysis Registered Nurse (RN) Daily Tasks:

Below are some other duties of a dialysis nurse.

  • Oversee the entire process, including setting the dialyzer and bloodlines.
  • Record the patients’ vitals and update medical records.
  • Provide pre-and post-procedure care for those in the Hemodialysis unit.
  • Prepare and update dialysis treatment medical plans.
  • Dialysis nurses evaluate the treatment plans and help the patient through their treatment.
  • Keep the medical team updated on each patient’s condition and progress.
  • Follow up with patients following their procedures.
  • Are responsible for scheduling treatments
  • Evaluate each patient’s response to the treatment and medications.
  • Check all equipment to make sure they are running at top performance.

Where Do Dialysis Nurses Work?

Dialysis nurses work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, dialysis centers, outpatient clinics, private homes, doctor’s offices, and nursing homes. Additionally, a registered nurse may also provide dialysis therapy in a patient’s home or one of the below locations.

  • Transplant center
  • Academia
  • Home healthcare agency
  • Nursing home
  • Hospice center
  • Hemodialysis center

What is the Average Salary of a Dialysis Registered Nurse?

Do dialysis nurses make more money? The amount of money you could earn is highly dependent on your experience level. Typically, the more years of experience you have, the higher salary you will earn.

Those considering dialysis nursing as a profession can earn an excellent salary. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most RNs earn an average salary of $77,600 per year, or $37.31 an hour with experience.

The BLS does not differentiate between nursing specialties. However, Glassdoor, Payscale, Indeed, and other job search websites provide more specific salary information. Below are some other sources for how much dialysis nurses earn. The median salary from all these sites falls between $79,000 and $130,000. And the salary ranges are from $38,000 to $195,000.

Glassdoor (more)$130,907$88,000$195,000
Payscale (more)$79,620$60,000$106,000
Salary dot com (more)$85,049$77,433 $99,160
Indeed dot com (more)$96,228$38,300$136,400

How do Dialysis Nurse Salaries compare to Other Nurses?

The salaries of dialysis nurses are comparable to other nursing specialties. However, due to the specialized nature of dialysis nursing, dialysis nurses earn higher wages than other nurses. Additionally, dialysis nurses may have access to additional benefits, such as flexible scheduling and additional training opportunities.

An entry-level Dialysis RN with less than 1 year of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $80,000. This includes tips, bonuses, and overtime pay. Nurses with more years of experience can earn more per year. Additionally, job seekers with a bachelor’s degree typically earn more than those with only an ADN.

What are the Highest-Paying States for Dialysis Nurses?

How much does a Dialysis Registered Nurse make by location? Currently, the highest-paying states for dialysis nurses are California ($97,890), Alaska ($97,220), Hawaii ($92,590), Massachusetts ($91,490), and New Jersey ($90,220). So, nurses who choose this field earn a very healthy salary as dialysis nurses.

What is the Career Outlook for a Dialysis Nurse?

The career outlook for a dialysis nurse is very positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of all registered nurses is projected to grow 6% from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.

In addition, the demand for dialysis nurses is expected to grow due to the increasing prevalence of chronic kidney disease, as well as an aging population. Dialysis nurses are in high demand and can expect to have a stable and secure career.

How Do You Become a Dialysis Nurse?

What skills does a dialysis nurse need? Those that are pursuing a career as a dialysis nurse will need to complete the steps below before they can begin their career.

1. Attend Nursing School

They will need to attend nursing school and earn an ADN or BSM from an accredited school.

2. Pass the NCLEX-RN

Following graduation, they have to pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Once they pass the exam they can apply for a Registered Nurse license.

3. Gain Experience

Before becoming a dialysis nurse, they must have at least two years of surgical experience, most often in the nephrology unit. It is extremely rare for new graduates to be hired into a dialysis nursing position. Experience earns a higher dialysis salary!

4. Certification for Dialysis Nurses

They will need to earn their certification from the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC). This may be as a CDN (Certified Dialysis Nurse) or a CNN (Certified Nephrology Nurse). After this certification, they can practice in this field.

Certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN)

Certified Nephrology Nurse (CNN)

Travel Dialysis Nursing:

While many people may not have heard of travel nursing, it is increasing in popularity. One reason for the increase is the need for nurses and other medical personnel in certain areas. This has come to light during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, more and more nurses are signing up to be travel nurses because of the accelerated pay. Travel dialysis nursing is no exception.

According to Indeed dot com, there are numerous jobs available at a very high pay scale. Those that choose to become travel nurses will have all their expenses paid. They can earn several thousand dollars per week. This is especially true in areas where the need for nurses with this specialization is high. In addition, the need for travel nurses has increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need for experienced healthcare providers.

Your Career as a Dialysis Nurse

Dialysis nurses, also known as nephrology nurses, are registered nurses who specialize in providing care for patients with kidney-related illnesses. As a dialysis nurse, you could work for Fresenius Medical Care, a major provider of kidney care in the United States. This job title comes with long hours, and the national average salary per year for dialysis nurses is approximately $75,000.

Nephrology or dialysis nurses play a vital role in helping improve the lives of those struggling with kidney disease. So this is a very good field for those in the nursing and medical profession to explore.


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