Certified Nephrology Nurse (CNN) Exam Review

The Certified Nephrology Nurse (CNN) is a healthcare professional who has attained specialized education, along with meeting the certification requirements, to provide care to the patient with renal disease. This includes monitoring patients with acute and chronic kidney disease as well as providing education to the patient and their families or caregivers regarding their disease.

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In order to take the Certified Nephrology Nurse Exam, the applicant must be a licensed Registered Nurse with a Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s Degree. At least 50% of the RN’s job responsibilities should involve providing direct patient care to patients who suffer from renal disease. In addition, at least 30 contact hours in nephrology should have been completed over the past 3 years.

CNN exams are scheduled in various cities and states throughout the country and are hosted by local chapters of the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA). The CNN exam costs $250 the first time it is taken, but the price is reduced to $125 if it is taken a second time. ANNA members pay a discounted fee of $200 for the initial exam sitting and $100 if the CNN exam is repeated a second time.

Approximately one-third of the exam tests the RN’s knowledge of hemodialysis. The physiology of renal failure makes up approximately one-third of the exam, with concepts in peritoneal dialysis and renal transplant making up the rest of the exam. The CNN exam contains 200 questions total.

The Certified Nephrology Nurse certification is valid for 3 years. In order to renew the certification, the RN must have completed at least 1,000 hours, at least one-half of their employment hours, in providing direct patient care to renal patients over the previous 3 years.

In addition, at least 45 continuing education hours focused on nephrology care should be completed. Alternatively, the RN may retake the CNN examination instead of maintaining the continuing education hours.

The cost for renewal of the Certified Nephrology Nurse certification is $200 for ANNA members and $225 for non-members.

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