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Certification in Nephrology Nursing Fosters Personal and Professional Growth

By Susan Eymann, MS22 Aug 2018

You may have wondered about the abbreviations after your dialysis nurse or tech’s name. Whether it be CNN NP; CNN; CDN; CD-LPN, CD-LVN CCHT or CCHT-A the abbreviations indicate that your dialysis care team member has taken measures to improve the care that they can provide. They have passed a test developed by the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) in order to receive additional certification in dialysis care.

nephrology-nursing"Being certified says to my patients and colleagues that I'm vested in my patients, our program and the staff that I help train and mentor. As a nurse, I'm ethically committed to keeping myself educated and informed as I provide care to renal patients."

The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC), formerly the Nephrology Nursing Certification Board (NNCB), was established in 1987. Recognizing the value of education, administration, research, and clinical practice in fostering personal and professional growth in the field of nephrology nursing, the Commission’s mission is to establish credentialing mechanisms to promote patient safety and to improve the quality of care provided to nephrology patients. Its goal is to promote the highest standards of nephrology nursing practice through the development, implementation, coordination and evaluation of all aspects of the certification and re-certification processes

The Commission’s philosophy is that there should be a diversity of examinations that will effectively provide the opportunity for certification and recertification at various levels of education, experience, and areas of practice within nephrology nursing. Therefore, they have developed and implemented several examinations to validate clinical performance and obtain certification in the field of nephrology nursing. They are:

  • CNN-NP (Certified Nephrology Nurse – Nurse Practitioner) for nurse practitioners with at least 2,0000 hours practicing in nephrology;
  • CNN (Certified Nephrology Nurse) for registered nurses with at least 3,000 hours of experience in multiple fields of nephrology;
  • CDN (Certified Dialysis Nurse) for registered nurses with at least 2,000 hours caring for patients who may require dialysis;
  • CD LPN or CD-LVN (Certified Dialysis LPNs or LVNs) for LPN’s or LVNs with at least 2,000 hours caring for patients who may require dialysis;
  • CCHT (Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician) practicing dialysis technicians with a GED or high school diploma;
  • CCHT-A (Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician – Advanced) for clinical dialysis technicians with at least 5,000 hours and five years experiences working with dialysis patients.

Composed of nine Commissioners, the NNCC is separately incorporated, and an independent organization that collaborates with the Center for Nursing Education and Testing (C-NET) in test development, test administration, and test evaluation. It also works collaboratively with professional nephrology organizations to promote, advertise and offer the certification examinations and to recognize certified individuals.

For more information about NNCC, see https://www.nncc-exam.org/