Helping you live a better life on dialysis

Print Page



Your doctor may suggest that you speak with a nurse to learn more about your treatment choices and daily care. Whether you are a home dialysis patient or receive your treatment in a dialysis center, you will have a nurse on staff to supervise your treatments and educate you.

Nurses differ in their training. Some of the nurses you may encounter in your unit include:

  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) – completes a 2-year training program
  • Registered Nurse (RN) – completes a 2- or 4-year college degree and passes a special test
  • Certified Nephrology Nurse (CNN) – a registered nurse who also completes training focused on nephrology and passes a special test
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP) – completes special training for providing primary health care and passes a special test

Other credentials that you may see include:

  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) – completes at least 4 years of college course work focusing on nursing
  • Master of Science Degree in Nursing (MSN) – completes at least 1 more year of college course work beyond a BSN

You can find out what type of nurse training the nurses on your team have by asking or looking at their name tags if they are wearing a tag. What initials do you find after their names?

Nurses are good sources of information. They can answer many questions about your health. They will be most able to help you if you tell them about any health concerns or related problems you might be having.

If you receive your dialysis treatment in a dialysis center, remember that your nurse is busy taking care of a number of patients at one time. You can expect a nurse to answer your questions and provide a listening ear, but the nurse can expect you to wait until there is time to talk. Try not to ask your questions while patients are being put on or taken off the machine, or if there is a medical issue being addressed. Waiting just a few minutes, and being respectful of nurses’ jobs, will go a long way toward helping you get what you need from them.

Content from Kidney School, a program of the Medical Education Institute, Inc.

Connect with a Healthcare Professional

Attend a Fresenius Medical Care Treatment Options Program (TOPs) in your area to discover resources, information, and support available to you and your family.

Learn More

Download a Helpful Brochure

Living with Chronic Kidney Disease - CKD Brochures

Get important information and helpful tips about living with chronic kidney disease.