Nephrology Nurse Job Description
Nephrology nurses are primarily concerned with patients who are recovering from, battling, or in the process of preventing kidney disease. They are intimately involved with patients who need kidney replacements and are crucial liaisons in many organ transplant programs. In addition to these duties, they also coordinate dialysis treatments and help to educate patients on the importance of diet and nutrition. In many cases, they will take a holistic approach to treatment and will focus their care on all the systems of the body.
Certification and Education
Nurses who specialize in nephrology follow the track of most other students during their early years of education. They will need a four-year degree in nursing and should take the widely diverse courses if at all possible. Some colleges and universities will offer specialized classes in nephrology. Although this is rare, these kinds of courses should be taken advantage of. Students will also take an array of classes in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and physics. Performing well and obtaining good grades are critical. Upon graduation, most nurses go on for clinical training, after which they may transition into working in specialized nephrology clinics and care units.
These nurses often work in a number of different settings. Many of them are employed at hospitals where transplants take place. Others work at specialized clinics and care for dialysis patients on a regular basis. Some nephrology nurses lead teams that are responsible for overseeing all aspects of a patient’s health, especially those individuals who are suffering from advanced kidney disease.
The average salary for this type of nurse is usually around $73,000. Of course, varying factors will affect this number. Some metropolitan areas will have higher average salaries than other areas. More experienced nurses with advanced certification in a number of areas will be more in demand, and hence will be paid more. Interested students should examine regional statistics carefully to determine how much they can expect to make.
The overall job outlook for nephrology nurses is excellent. As the percentage of elderly individuals in the population increases, there will be a rise in the instances of chronic kidney disease. Nurses will be needed to care for these patients long-term and to organize complex transplant procedures. The profession is only expected to grow going forward.
Other Similar Nursing Options
Nephrology nurses ultimately work closely with their counterparts in a number of different specialized fields. Nursing professionals who specialize in gastrointestinal disorders, for example, might require the skills and knowledge of kidney specialists in order to design a more effective treatment plan. Together, team members can improve the lives and health of patients in a variety of medical contexts.