August Electronic Bulletin

August 2013

Sent to those committed to excellence!




The NNCC is pleased to announce that they are now offering two CCHT Career Mobility Scholarships each year. The CCHT Career Mobility Scholarship provides funding for continuing education and development or support of a program to improve patient outcomes in the health science field. Each $2000 scholarship will enable a CCHT - certified dialysis technician to enhance his/her knowledge and better contribute to the nephrology community.

NNCC is very pleased to announce the 2013 winner of the CCHT Career Mobility Scholarship is Ormet Lynn Campbell of LaPlace, Louisianna.

The application form and instructions are available on the Scholarships/Grants page of the NNCC website found at All CCHT - certified dialysis technicians who meet the scholarship award criteria are encouraged to apply; applications for the 2014 awards are being accepted now. Applications will be accepted until November 29, 2013, and winners will be notified in the spring of 2014. Please note that fax copies of documents are NOT accepted.



The NNCC has approved an annual award for one organization/facility/department/unit to receive upon demonstration that the winner values certification as a way to promote patient safety and improve the quality of care provided to nephrology patients. The award will consist of a wall plaque, a $250 gift card, a press release and recognition on the NNCC website and at the NNCC exhibit at professional nephrology events. Details are now available on the NNCC web site at



Want to know more about certification and its value to your career and professional advancement? Well, we've created an easy-to-use presentation full of helpful information for your next ANNA chapter meeting. Visit the NNCC homepage att to download the presentation.



In 2010 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandated that patient care technicians providing direct patient care in dialysis clinics must be certified within 18 months of employment. Nursing certification has remained voluntary. This study will replicate a study done by the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS) in 2007 of the Perceived Value of Certification. We will compare our results with those of that earlier study to see if there are any changes in how nurses and technicians value certification.

Your input is very important to the outcome of our findings. Please participate in this research project and encourage your nephrology colleagues to do so as well. Thank you in advance for your time!

Take the survey



Based on questions that NNCC receives, it appears that there is much confusion about the Certified Nephrology Nurse (CNN) and Certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN) exams. We would like to take this opportunity to clarify the purpose of these exams and assure nephrology nurses that certification via both tests is equally valid and denotes a level of knowledge beyond what is required for basic nursing care of nephrology patients.

NNCC completed a lengthy and very detailed application to the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC), which is the accrediting body for the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS). This is the process that organizations providing certification exams (such as NNCC) can use to obtain public recognition that their program(s) meets national criteria. NNCC is very proud to note that two of its examinations, the CDN and CNN exams, have received accreditation from the ABSNC. This means that any nurse holding the NNCC credential of "CDN" or "CNN" can state that he or she is board certified in nephrology nursing. This is a distinction that no other nephrology certification program has achieved.

As part of the ABSNC accreditation process, NNCC must periodically survey nurses that practice in nephrology to determine the actual job roles and duties they perform. NNCC must ensure that the certification exam content correlates closely to the actual practice of the nephrology nurse. Many of you may recall completing a Job Analysis survey for NNCC, and we are grateful for your assistance in this important project. It is these surveys that provided clear and compelling evidence of differences in practice between nurses who work primarily in the outpatient hemodialysis setting (i.e, nurses who would obtain the CDN certification), and nurses who work in varied nephrology settings and with different treatment modalities (i.e., nurses who would obtain the CNN certification).

What the Job Analysis surveys tell us is that there are clear differences in educational level and clinical practice among nephrology nurses. The CDN exam was developed to test nurses at an entry-level in nephrology nursing and who are practicing at a competent level. Based on the Job Analysis data, these nurses most often practice in the outpatient hemodialysis setting only and have a limited range of experience in nephrology nursing. The test content for the CDN exam reflects a primary focus on outpatient hemodialysis.

In contrast to the CDN exam, the CNN exam was created to test those nurses who have a broader scope of nephrology nursing experience (i.e, experience in multiple practice settings and with a variety of treatment modalities) and who are practicing at a proficient level. For this reason, the CNN exam also requires a bachelor's degree in nursing to take this exam. The content for the CNN exam will test the applicant over a broader range of practice settings and treatment modalities, which includes home therapies, transplant and acute care.

Note that these are not the only criteria for determining which examination a nephrology nurse should take; for detailed information please consult the application for each examination. However, it seems that this is the information that is commonly unknown or misunderstood. When considering which exam is appropriate, the nephrology nurse should first carefully consider his/her practice experience. For example, if a nurse has a BSN, but has only worked in the outpatient dialysis setting, the CDN exam would be the most appropriate certification exam for that nurse. Remember that both exams are accredited by ABSNC and all certificants holding the CDN and CNN credential can proudly state that they are "board certified".

For more detailed information on certification, please consult the May/June issue of the Nephrology Nursing Journal. This monograph issue is focused on certification and is a very good resource for all nephrology nurses.



NNCC is pleased to announce the availability of two new certification exams. The Commission carefully reviewed recent Practice Analysis and Role Delineation Surveys for technicians and LPN/LVNs and it was determined that there are significant differences in practice between entry level technicians and those who have been working for five or more years. It was also noted that there are definite differences in practice between all technicians and LPN/LVN’s working in dialysis facilities. The fees for the exams are as follows:

Advanced CCHT Certification Exam
The credential for the advanced dialysis technician is CCHT-A, and denotes practice and experience beyond the minimum needed to obtain the CCHT. Criteria for this certification exam include the following:

  • 5 years of continuous employment and a minimum of 5000 hours as a clinical hemodialysis technician,
  • 30 contact hours of continuing education relevant to the practice of a hemodialysis technician, within the previous three years,
  • Current national certification as a CCHT, CHT or CCNT.

NOTE: It is recommended but not required that contact hours be obtained from an approved provider.

Certification Exam for the Dialysis LVN/LPN
The credential for the certified dialysis LPN/LVN is CD-LPN and CD-LVN. The eligibility criteria for this exam include:

  • 2 years and 2000 hours as an LPN/LVN working with patients who require or may require dialysis within the previous 2 years,
  • 15 contact hours of continuing education relevant to the care of patients who require or may require dialysis, within the previous two years.

NOTE: It is recommended but not required that contact hours be obtained from an approved provider.

The certification examination application fee for CCHT-A and CD-LPN/CD-LVN is $250.



Please review the applicable application form and note the criteria for continuing education submitted for certification and recertification. Continuing education credits must be applicable to the person’s credential and scope of practice in nephrology. Continuing education credit for materials that do not apply to the person’s nephrology role and scope of practice will not be accepted.

Another important reminder regards the NNCC Certified Directory, available on the NNCC website at The NNCC Certified Directory allows for online verification of certification. It is maintained as a searchable database that displays all individuals matching the selection criteria who have not elected to keep their information private. All managers are strongly encouraged to verify credentials by viewing this directory regularly.



Please be aware that NNCC and its testing partner, the Center for Nursing Education and Testing (C-NET) continue to receive many applications that are incomplete, primarily for CCHT certification and recertification. Due to the amount of work required to process and follow-up on incomplete applications, an incomplete application fee of $25 is charged for each incomplete application. Incomplete applications also delay processing of the application, so it is critical that all applications be reviewed carefully to ensure that all required steps are completed properly.



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The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) exists to establish credentialing mechanisms for improving the quality of care provided to nephrology patients.

The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission 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 area of practice within nephrology nursing.

For more information, visit