CNN Recertification


NNCC will conduct required maintenance from July 26 through July 30, 2024. Recertification by continuing education applications cannot be submitted online during this time. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Certified Nephrology Nurse® (CNN®)

Continuing competence is the ongoing ability of a nurse and those working under the nurse's direction to integrate and apply the knowledge, skills, judgment, and personal attributes required to practice safely and ethically.

To maintain competence and prevent professional obsolescence, the Board of Commissioners requires that each NNCC certificant participate in continuing education to refresh existing knowledge and skill and to acquire knowledge and proficiency pertaining to new advances as well as state of the art information over the full spectrum of nephrology.

The three-year time period established for recertification is based on both the scope of issues that face nephrology nurses and the Board’s belief that new practices, research, and information are introduced in the field with enough frequency that professional development activities should be conducted routinely so that certificants remain current with best practices and emerging knowledge.


As a courtesy, the NNCC will send reminders approximately every 30 days starting 120 days prior to certification expiration. Ultimately it is the applicant's responsibility to obtain the necessary application form and submit it to the NNCC before the certification expiration date. The NNCC is not responsible for undelivered mail. A recertification application can be obtained here on the NNCC website or by calling 888.884.6622. Your completed application, appropriate forms, copies of supporting materials, and fee must be submitted at one time. The initial certification is effective for three years from the last day of the month in which the applicant passed the examination. Certification must be renewed every three years.

Continuing Education and Clinical Experience

If you elect the continuing education option, you must submit a recertification application with required documentation and the recertification fee. Applications for renewal of your CNN by continuing education must be postmarked by the last day of the month in which your certification expires to avoid a late fee. All recertification eligibility requirements must be met during the three year certification period.

Submit Online Application

Download the Full Application

  • Applications for renewal of your CNN by continuing education must be postmarked by the last day of the month in which your certification expires to avoid a late fee.
  • Applicant must have acquired 45 contact hours of approved continuing education in the previous three (3) years. A minimum of fifteen (15) contact hours must be nephrology specific. Continuing education must be from the following sources:
    • Nursing continuing education programs
    • Independent study programs offering nephrology nursing contact hours
    • Academic credit
      • Includes all course work in academic programs leading to a health/science degree. It is not necessary that the course content be nephrology nursing concepts. This option may be used for only one recertification period.
      • Five contact hours will be assigned for one semester credit.
      • Three contact hours will be assigned for one quarter credit.
    • Professional Publications
      • The publication must be relevant to nephrology nursing.
      • The work must be published by a recognized publishing house or professional journal.
      • Fifteen (15) contact hours will be assigned for a book chapter, manuscript, article or paper.
      • Forty-five (45) contact hours will be assigned for authorship or co-authorship of a book.
    • Multimedia Program Development
      • Includes the preparation of program content and script of videotapes, audiotapes, or computer generated discs.
      • The program must be relevant to nephrology and be awarded continuing education credit in nursing.
      • Five contact hours will be assigned for the production of one program.
    • Precepting Credits
      • If you are a Preceptor for nephrology/dialysis nurses, you may use preceptor hours towards your continuing education requirement. A maximum credit of 8-contact hour can be applied to 160 precepting hours during your 3-year certification period.

        Download the Preceptor Form

  • An NNCC specified accreditation body must approve continuing education.
    • Organizations accredited by the American Nurses' Credentialing Center - Commission on Accreditation (ANCC-COA), the credentialing body of the American Nurses' Association.
    • The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)
    • The Council of Continuing Education
    • Any State Board of Nursing
  • Must be completed during the recertification period.
  • Continuing education certificates must include the following information:
    • Name of attendee
    • Date of program
    • Name of program
    • Number of contact hours awarded
    • Accreditation statement
  • You must retain all continuing education certificates in your personal files, in order to demonstrate that the criteria have been met for recertification. This documentation is required in the event your application is randomly selected in an audit.

Recertification by Examination

When seeking recertification by examination, all requirements for recertifying must be met with the exception of the submission of continuing education. Testing must be completed before the certification expiration date. An examination application and fee must be submitted by the deadline (eight weeks prior to the examination date). Applicants who choose the recertification by examination option will be notified of their scores by C-NET, the testing center, or immediately upon completion of a computer-based exam.

Download the Exam Application

Emeritus Status

Nurses who have maintained an active credential, who are over 50 years of age, and who have retired from active practice may apply for emeritus status. To apply for the retired credential the certificant must complete the application for Emeritus Status (page 17 of this booklet) and submit a one time fee. If approved, the certificant may use the emeritus credential at nephrology functions to acknowledge a previous active credential and the accomplishments it signifies. If the certificant chooses to return to active practice and wishes to again hold the active credential, he/she must meet current eligibility criteria and certify by examination.

Download the Emeritus Status Application

All of the following eligibility requirements must be met:

  • Applicant must be a Certified Nephrology Nurse (CNN).
  • Applicant must hold a current, full and unrestricted license to practice as a registered nurse in the United States or its territories.
  • Applicant must have at least 1,500 hours experience in nephrology nursing as a registered nurse during the last three years.
  • A certificant pursuing a baccalaureate degree in nursing and wishing to waive the work requirement must verify full time student status. Documentation must be on letterhead, signed by a school official, verifying matriculation and must be submitted with the recertification application. The exception to waive the work requirement will be approved for only one recertification period.

Recertification application fees are non-refundable. Periodically fees are re-evaluated and adjustments may be made. Only NNCC Commissioners can authorize fee changes.

Standard Fees

Fee Name Amount
Recert By Exam Fee
Recert by Continuing Education Fee
Exam Application Processing Fee (Non-refundable, included in exam fee)
Expedited Review
Late Fee
Incomplete Application Fee
Returned Check/Cancelled Payment Fee
Duplicate Wallet Card or Certificate
Certification Validation Letter (Except to State Boards of Nursing)

Reduced Fees for Partner* Members

Fee Name Amount
Recert By Exam Fee
Recert by Continuing Education Fee
Late Fee

*Current partner organizations include the American Nephrology Nurses Association, the American Society of Nephrology, the National Kidney Foundation, and the Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs.

A CNN may request inactive status if he/she is unable to meet the requirements for recertification. To apply for inactive status, the applicant must complete the application for inactive status, available on the NNCC website at or by calling 888-884-6622, and submit a letter describing the reason. If approved, inactive status will be granted for one 3-year period. During this time, the CNN credential may not be used. In order to recertify after the 3-year inactive period, the criteria for regular recertification must be met and a recertification application must be submitted. Under no circumstance will the inactive period be extended beyond three years.

Download the Inactive Status Application

Issuance of Certificate

If approved for recertification, an updated wallet card with the new expiration date will be mailed within 60 days of the date the National Office receives the recertification application. Final receipt of an updated wallet card after recertification will depend upon actual date mailed, the recipient's mailing address, and postal delivery times. Replacements are available for a fee.

As of January 2004, a wall certificate is issued only once. Wall certificates do not have an expiration date and will not be automatically reissued for subsequent recertifications.

Keep Your Information Current

It is the applicant's responsibility to notify the NNCC National Office of any changes in name, address, email, and phone number for the duration of their certification/recertification period. Notifications of changes on other mailing lists such as ANNA may not effect a change in your recertification records.