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Empowering Our Nurses

Nursing Certifications Enhance Nursing Careers

nursing certification-nursing careers-career opportunities
nursing certification-nursing careers-career opportunities

A certified nurse is one who is building a commitment to lifelong learning. Certification builds a nurse’s career opportunities, supporting professional growth while equipping the nurse with skills and specialties to provide their patients with a higher quality of care.

Kathy Houle

Executive Director, Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC)

Sandy Bodin

President, NNCC

Why is it important for nurses to get certifications?

  • Certifications demonstrate a nurse’s commitment to growing competencies and enhancing their areas of specialty, expanding and strengthening opportunities for upward career mobility while also elevating a nurse’s confidence.
  • Certifications — from medical-surgical nursing certifications to critical care certifications to nephrology nursing certifications and many more — elevate patient outcomes, institutional reputation, and, for the nurse, avenues to high career fulfillment.
  • Certifications result in better job prospects by raising professional credibility, validating specialized practice knowledge, and proving a higher level of clinical competence, all of which can result in higher salary opportunities for competitive nurses.

What does the NNCC do to support certification pathways for nurses?

The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) exists to establish credentialing mechanisms to promote patient safety and to improve the quality of care provided to nephrology patients.

  • NNCC supports the philosophy that there should be a diversity of examinations that will effectively provide the opportunity for certification at various levels of education, experience, and areas of practice within nephrology nursing.
  • It is the goal of NNCC to promote the highest standards of nephrology nursing practice through the development, implementation, and evaluation of all aspects of the certification and re-certification processes.
  • The NNCC is national in scope and works collaboratively with professional nephrology organizations to promote, advertise, and implement certification examinations as well as to recognize certified individuals.

Nephrology nurses were at the front lines of patient care during the pandemic.

A high percentage of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 suffer from acute kidney injury because the virus damages blood flow to the kidneys and attacks the kidneys directly. Dialysis machines, artificial kidneys, and blood tubing supplies have been in short supply, necessitating innovation and flexibility by nephrology nurses.

Patients with chronic kidney disease and kidney failure on chronic dialysis are at increased risk for hospitalization due to COVID-19 because of their immunocompromised state.

Unfortunately, these patients with kidney disease were not prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccines when they were first released, despite their vulnerability and the likelihood of high mortality if they contract COVID-19. The strain on nephrology nurses was palpable.

At this time, opportunities for nurses practicing in nephrology are numerous and rewarding.  Nephrology patients range from newborns to the elderly, and nephrology nurses today work in many places, including clinics, hospitals, education, research, and the community. Through certification pathways, nephrology nurses can truly grow in this vital specialty — ready to serve during times of normalcy and times of crisis.

The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) was established in 1987 to develop and implement certification examinations for nephrology nursing. Learn more by visiting

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