How to Become a Certified Hemodialysis Nurse

A certified hemodialysis nurse is one of the three certifications regulated by the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission of any country. These are specialized nurses that are trained to assist patients in kidney failure through dialysis treatment. They are trained to use dialysis equipment and techniques.

By becoming a certified hemodialysis nurse, not only your employer and patients would know that you are qualified and skilled enough to attain this credential, but you will also be rewarded with higher salary and additional responsibilities. If you are thinking about a career in dialysis nursing, it is necessary to first understand the job description and the prerequisites for this post.


  • 1

    You must be a registered nurse

    Before seeking the Certified Hemodialysis Nurse certification, you must possess an active Registered Nurse (RN) license. Your RN, LPN, or LVN must also be unrestricted.

  • 2

    Work experience and working hours

    To apply for CHN certification, you must have a work experience of over two years in nephrology nursing and it must total at least 2000 hours. In other words, the applicant must have most recently worked on a full-time basis in an End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) facility while assisting acute dialysis patients.

  • 3

    Submit your application with two reference letters

    If you fulfil the prerequisites for the Certified Hemodialysis Nurse, complete and submit your application form to sit in the examination and begin the certification process. You will need to attach two reference letters as well with the application. One reference letter should be from your current immediate supervisor while the other will be from someone else in the same professional capacity, who knows you.

  • 4

    Confirmation letter

    After reviewing your application package, the concerned department will send you a confirmation letter, which you will have to take with you to your examination. If you had registered for a written exam, your testing location centre will be mentioned in the letter; and if you had registered for online testing, the letter will contain information about your test number, username and password.

  • 5

    Take and pass the certification exam

    The certification exam comprises 150 multiple choice questions (MCQs) from four basic areas, Dialysis and Related Issues (74.5%), Environmental Control (10%), Administration (10%) and Professional Development (5.5%). It is an extensive examination of three hours and the result is announced in three to four weeks. If you have passed the examination, your certification will remain valid for four years.

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