Nurses are fast becoming the most sought-after professionals in the healthcare industry. Dialysis nursing is one particular specialty that is seeing an increasing demand for skilled individuals to fill positions. It is a specialty which requires formal training, some practical experience, a good work ethic, and willingness to help patients who can sometimes be difficult. Dialysis nursing isn't for everyone, but for those who enjoy it there are rewards well beyond a good paycheck.
To become a dialysis nurse you must first complete a nursing program. There are plenty of dedicated nursing schools where you can complete an associate’s degree program in about two years. Some hospitals and medical schools provide a three-year nursing program which takes you slightly beyond the basics. Finally, if you're willing to put in four years of study you'll earn a bachelor's degree in nursing.
There are also online options for earning your nursing degree through a distance learning program. Be sure to check the reputation of a distance learning school before you decide to enroll. You also might want to contact local hospitals and staffing agencies to find out if they have any knowledge regarding online schools. The danger in going this route is ending up with school that is not accredited and finding you can't get a job afterward.
Upon completion of your nursing program you also then need some further education regarding kidney disease, other related illnesses resulting in dialysis, and the medical process behind dialysis and how it works. In the meantime, you also have to pass your state nursing board examination and, in some cases, a separate examination to be a dialysis nurse.
Entering the Job Market
More often than not new dialysis nurses go to work in a major hospital. The reason behind this is that the hospital environment is more tightly supervised and will help the new nurse hone her skills under the supervision of someone more experienced. You can find in these entry-level jobs through the HR department of your local hospital or through a medical staffing agency.
Your experience in dialysis nursing may be motivation for you to move into a supervisory role or a new specialty. You may even decide you'd like to become an RN, LPN, or nurse practitioner. Fortunately, you can study in preparation for these new opportunities while continuing to work as a dialysis nurse. Upon completion of your studies and the proper licensing, you'll be prepared to embark on the next stage of your nursing career.
Prepare for the Job Mentally and Emotionally
Unfortunately, many new nurses enter the healthcare industry without fully knowing what they are getting into. Dialysis nursing, like many other specialties, requires long hours and a working environment that is not always optimal. It is most certainly a rewarding career but it is one that requires patience, compassion, and an overall positive outlook. If you have these qualities and can complete their education, you should be well suited for a rewarding career.