Dialysis Nurse Job Description

The dialysis nurse is the registered nurse that trained in procedures and situations regarding the peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis. These two procedures are very important ones, the kidneys of the patient, and his life, too, depending on them. Patients with such diseases need special attention and care. Categorizing this position, the dialysis nurse belongs to nephrology nursing, which are the nurses specialized in working with kidney medical issues patients.


These nurses are the ones that are assisting patients with both dialysis methods, the difference is that the peritoneal dialysis is needed; the nurse has to make home visits. The main duties of dialysis nurses are almost the same in both types of dialysis. The practitioner has to comprehend and learn both dialysis mechanics, explain every aspect of these procedures to the patient, answer misunderstandings, monitor life signs, supervise the patient while dialysis and oversee the patient's reaction to the therapy. Along with these main tasks, dialysis nurses have to verify if patients are following the medical prescribed treatment and talk with the responsible doctors about the progress and the reaction of treated patients.

What is actually dialysis?

If one wishes to better understand the hard work dialysis nurses perform, he/she should understand first what does dialysis actually involves. When a patient has complete kidney failure, the blood is no more filtered and gets toxic; hence, this patient has to have regular dialysis procedure done to a certain period to have his blood cleansed of waste results and toxins. This treatment is done through two dialysis methods: the first one, hemodialysis, refers to the passing of the patient's blood through a machine that automatically cleans it. The second, peritoneal dialysis refers to the filtering of the patient's blood through the peritoneal membrane that covers the stomach; this is done at home.

Requirements to become a dialysis nurse

  • Dialysis nurses are registered nurses that have the minimum of a bachelor's degree in nursing with extra education in nephrology and dialysis programs.
  • The best candidates for this job position are the ones concerned about health and the well-being of others.
  • They have to adjust easily to working in teams, but also be capable of becoming leader.
  • Dialysis nurses have to be very attentive, with an eye built for details. They have to be stress resistant and be able to work in a demanding environment.

Dialysis Nurse Job's perspective

Even though the US Occupational Outlook Handbook does not have statistics about dialysis nurses, they claim that RNs have a bright future, with a rapidly growing number of opening and demands. In 2006, the number of employed registered nurses was 2.5 million and since then and until 2016, this number will grow with over 25%. The numbers look even better for nurses that provide home care (39%) and for the ones working in outpatient care-centers (34%).


The earning of a dialysis nurse depends on the working environment in which a RN is hired. The nurses working in nursing care departments have an annual salary of $58,000, the ones providing home care earn $62,000 a year, those working in doctors' offices yearly get $58,000 and nurses in surgical or general hospitals have a pay check of over $66,000 a year.