2 Nephrology Nurse Practitioner Programs

Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH

As a nephrology NP, your services will always be in high demand because your training is so highly specialized that other nurse practitioners can’t substitute for you without additional education. In addition to being able to spot and identify the subtle clinical changes in a patient that indicate the onset of kidney failure, nephrology NPs must understand how to operate and troubleshoot dialysis equipment and how to manage vascular access for dialysis procedures. Think this could be a good professional fit for your talents? Wondering what nephrology nurse practitioner programs are currently available? Stay on this page to learn more about the top 2 nephrology nurse practitioner programs.

Top 3 Benefits Of Nephrology Nurse Practitioner Programs

Graduates of nephrology nurse practitioner programs have many options for professional advancement, including opportunities for case management and other administrative positions. There are other upsides to enrolling in a nephrology training track as well.

Benefit #1: CNN-NP Certification

These programs will give you the knowledge you need to take and pass the Certified Nephrology Nurse-Nurse Practitioner (CNN-NP) exam. While you can certainly practice as a nephrology nurse practitioner without this certification, a CNN-NP demonstrates to prospective employers that you have considerable expertise in this field and can live up to these employers’ practice standards. In fact, employers value this certification so highly that many of them will pay for you to take the exam.

Benefit #2: Salary

Nephrology nurse practitioners’ salaries vary widely by geographic location, but on average, they make $131,150 per year, 5 percent more than nurse practitioners without a specialization who make ($124,680.) In many states, nephrology nurse practitioners make significantly more than the average nephrology NP salary: In California, for example, they make $166,340 (33 percent more than the average nephrology NP), while in New York state, they make $148,810 (19 percent more than the average nephrology NP.)

Benefit #3: Employment opportunities

Nephrology nurse practitioners are in short supply, so there is a tremendous demand for their services. Though this shortage existed before the COVID-19 pandemic, the pandemic resulted in high numbers of patients with acute kidney injury and kidney failure, overwhelming hospitals. As a nephrology nurse practitioner, you are likely to have your choice of employment opportunities.

What Nephrology Nurse Practitioner Programs Are Currently Available?

(The following 2 nephrology nurse practitioner programs are currently available. The list includes college programs, certificates, fellowships, and residency training programs.)

1. LSU Health New Orleans - New Orleans, LA

Program Type: DNP Advanced Specialty

The Advanced Nephrology specialty at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans (LSU Health) is one of the nephrology nurse practitioner programs that students can add to an APRN concentration if they’re enrolled in LSU’s Doctor of Nursing (DNP) curriculum. To complete the nephrology specialty, you must take one 3-credit lecture course focusing on advanced nephrology nursing specialty competencies. Students can then elect to complete one or more of the required three practicums in a chronic or acute nephrology practice setting relevant to their population focus. Students can also complete their DNP project on a project that implements research, practice outcomes, or policy outcomes pertaining to an issue in nephrology.

You can apply to LSU’s DNP track either with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN.) This program is only open to applicants with a current, unencumbered license to practice nursing in Louisiana.

2. Mayo Clinic College of Medicine & Science – Jacksonville, FL

Program Type: Nephrology Fellowship Program

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences offers a one-year Nephrology and Hypertension Fellowship at its campus in Jacksonville, Florida. You’ll spend approximately 40 hours a week in clinical activities, including hospital nephrology service rounds, weekly outpatient hemodialysis rounds, Inpatient and outpatient renal transplant service rotation, and outpatient chronic kidney disease, hypertension, and dialysis clinics. You’ll also receive didactic instruction through weekly conferences, journal clubs, and grand rounds.

This nephrology nurse practitioner program begins each October. To participate in this program, you must be a board-certified nurse practitioner who is licensed to work in Florida and has graduated from an accredited nurse practitioner program.

Where Do Nephrology Nurse Practitioners Mostly Work?

As a graduate of a nephrology nurse practitioner program, you’ll have a wide variety of employment options in inpatient and outpatient practice settings like dialysis clinics, hospitals, home care, long-term care facilities, transitional care units, healthcare provider practices, and transplant programs.

Work Setting #1: Dialysis Units

In dialysis units, nephrology nurse practitioners are primarily responsible for case management. They assess patients and prescribe medications. (In states where nurse practitioners don’t have full practice rights, they may do so under the oversight of a supervising physician.) They oversee the dialysis process, ensuring all medications and treatments are administered according to protocols. They also supervise the home care programs that train patients and their families in various self-dialysis procedures.

Work Setting #2: Hospitals

Nephrology NPs provide primary care for patients with kidney disorders in hospitals and medical centers. They participate in patient assessments and screenings, ordering appropriate medications, medical equipment, diets, tests, and treatments, including dialysis. They are often called upon to treat anemia and electrolyte fluid imbalances, which are frequently a part of kidney disease. They participate in rounds as well as in hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis clinics.

Work Setting #3: Homecare agencies

As a nephrology NP with a homecare agency, you’ll oversee nurses who participate in home dialysis procedures. Much of your time may be dedicated to educating the renal care RNs you work with so that they can, in turn, teach patients how to manage their own home dialysis care. Nephrology nurse practitioners also function as troubleshooters to handle any complications that may arise during home dialysis procedures.

Starting Salary For Nephrology Nurse Practitioners

When you’re first starting as a nephrology nurse practitioner, you’ll earn $91,870 annually on average, which comes to $44.17 an hour, $1,767 a week, or $7,660 a month.

Hourly $44.17
Weekly $1,767
Monthly $7,660
Annual $91,870
(Source: Nursingprocess.org)

Average Salary For Nephrology Nurse Practitioners

Experienced nephrology nurse practitioners typically earn salaries 43 percent higher than those of nephrology NPs who are just starting out. Experienced nephrology nurse practitioners make $131,150 a year, which breaks down to $63.05 an hour, $2,522 a week, or $131,150 a month.

Hourly $63.05
Weekly $2,522
Monthly $10,930
Annual $131,150
(Source: Nursingprocess.org)

My Final Thoughts

This article has provided an in-depth look at what nephrology nurse practitioner programs are currently available. According to the National Kidney Foundation, one out of every three Americans is at risk for developing kidney disease, so the demand for qualified nephrology nurse practitioners, which is high now, will continue to grow in the future. There may be only 2 nephrology nurse practitioner programs right now, but you can expect that number to expand in the coming years.

Frequently Asked Questions Answered

1. On Average, How Much Do Nephrology Nurse Practitioners Make Per Hour?

As a nephrology nurse practitioner, you can expect to make $63.05 an hour.

Salary Per Hour

2. On Average, How Much Do Nephrology Nurse Practitioners Make Per Week?

The average weekly salary of a nephrology NP works out to $2,522.

Salary Per Week

3. On Average, How Much Do Nephrology Nurse Practitioners Make Per Month?

Nephrology nurse practitioners get paid $10,930 a month.

Salary Per Month

4. On Average, How Much Do Nephrology Nurse Practitioners Make Per Year?

On average, nephrology nurse practitioners earn annual salaries of $131,150.

Salary Per Year

5. What Are The 10 Highest Paying States For Nephrology Nurse Practitioners?

The average nephrology nurse practitioner’s salary varies from state to state. As is nearly always the case with nurse practitioner earnings, nephrology NPs make the most money in California. In the Golden State, nephrology NPs make 27 percent more than the average nephrology NP salary across all states. This is because the demand for nephrology NP services is so high in California: The Golden State has more than 650 dialysis clinics that treat more than 80,000 patients each month.

RankHighest Paying States
StateAverage Annual Salary
2New Jersey$150,680
3New York$148,810
9New Mexico$136,280

6. What Are The 10 Highest Paying Cities For Nephrology Nurse Practitioners?

Nine of the top-paying cities for nephrology nurse practitioners are in California. As we have seen, the demand for nurse practitioners specializing in nephrology is high in the Golden State, and California healthcare employers understand the wisdom of attracting and retaining experienced nurse practitioners with high salaries. In addition, the cost of living in the Golden State is 50 percent higher than it is on average throughout all states, and in particular, the cost of living in the Silicon Valley is 130 percent higher than it is on average throughout all states. If nephrology NPs weren’t compensated so highly in San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara, they couldn’t afford to live there.

RankHighest Paying Cities
CityAverage Annual Salary
1San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$209,990
2San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA$199,930
3Napa, CA$199,010
4Vallejo-Fairfield, CA$190,380
5New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA$179,160
6Yuba City, CA$170,080
7Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA$166,000
8San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA$165,660
9Salinas, CA$165,060
10El Centro, CA$160,280

Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.

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