Nephrology Nursing

Nephrology Nurses use the nursing process to care for patients of all ages who are experiencing, or are at risk for, kidney disease. Nephrology nursing involves both preventing disease and assessing the health needs of patients and families. Care spans the life cycle and involves patients who are experiencing the real or threatened impact of acute or chronic kidney disease; therefore nephrology nurses must be well-educated, highly skilled, and motivated. These nurses also deal with every organ system in the body, calling for a holistic approach to patient care that is both challenging and rewarding. Nephrology nursing practice requires a common knowledge base to care for pediatric, adult, and older adult patients with kidney disease.

Nephrology nurses practice in dialysis clinics, hospitals, physician practices, transplant programs, and many other inpatient and outpatient settings. They work in primary, secondary, and tertiary care facilities as well as in patients' homes – wherever individuals experiencing or at risk for kidney disease receive health care.

In inpatient settings, patients are often critically ill and care is fast-paced and challenging. In outpatient settings, the nephrology nurse is an integral member of a multidisciplinary team that cares for patients with complex needs. The nurse in this setting functions as advocate, educator, consultant, care coordinator, and direct caregiver and oversees long-term care of chronically ill patients. As such, the nephrology nurse can have a positive impact on the quality of patients' lives.

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