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How to Become a Dialysis Clinical Manager

Find out how to become a dialysis clinical manager. Research the education and training requirements, and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in nursing. View article »

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  • 0:02 Dialysis Clinical…
  • 1:40 Earn a BSN
  • 3:30 Earn RN Licensure
  • 3:56 Gain Clinical Nursing…
  • 4:22 Consider Earning Certification

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Video Transcript

Dialysis Clinical Manager Overview

Dialysis clinical managers are registered nurses (RNs) who have been trained to assist and oversee patients undergoing dialysis treatment at a clinic or medical center. They also manage the daily operations in a dialysis clinic, often dealing with staff concerns and administrative issues, such as hiring and payroll decisions. Dialysis clinical managers work closely with physicians and medical directors to handle patient treatment and maintain overall quality of care.

Like other types of medical and health services managers, dialysis clinical managers usually work full-time. Dialysis managers rarely work overnight shifts, since most patients receiving dialysis do so during the day. Those who are employed by hospitals may work longer hours or be scheduled into the evenings. As with all medical care professions, there is a small risk of exposure to infectious diseases, though dialysis clinical managers' risk is minimal.

Degree Level Bachelor's degree is common
Degree Field Nursing
Licensure and/or Certification State licensure required; certification available
Experience 18+ months of clinical and/or dialysis nursing experience
Key Skills Critical-thinking, speaking, and organizational skills, emotional stability, compassion and patience; familiar with medical, database, time accounting, office suite, and spreadsheet software; knowledge of hemodialysis equipment and procedures
Salary (2015) $106,070 per year (mean salary for medical and health services managers, including dialysis clinical managers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2015), O Net OnLine, Employer job postings (January 2013), Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission

Let's follow the steps to become a dialysis clinical manager.

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Step 1: Earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Aspiring dialysis clinical managers might increase career opportunities by completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program as preparation to become a registered nurse. Prior to enrollment, applicants should verify that the program is accredited by an official nursing agency. Most BSN programs take four years to complete and include general education courses in addition to core nursing courses.

Bachelor's programs in nursing are geared toward applicants with a high school diploma, or a diploma or associate's degree in nursing. They are also available for individuals who have earned a bachelor's degree in a different subject. Programs always include didactic coursework combined with clinical training, which usually takes place in various hospital departments. Some programs also include additional training in other locations, such as long-term care facilities or specialized medical clinics.

Aspiring dialysis clinical managers might want to enroll in a BSN program that offers clinical sessions in a dialysis center. Acquiring clinical experience in dialysis while still enrolled in a bachelor's program can give individuals a head start on their careers or improve prospects. It might also make it easier to acquire an entry-level position as a staff nurse in a dialysis center after graduation.

Prospective dialysis clinical managers also might seek to improve their communication skills. Employers typically desire dialysis clinical managers who have strong verbal and comprehension abilities. Also, working with patients experiencing physical pain requires sensitivity, sympathy and patience. Aspiring dialysis clinical managers can improve these skills by opting for courses in communications, human resources, and psychology while completing their BSN programs.

Step 2: Earn RN License

In all states, registered nurses must be formally licensed for practice. After completing an accredited BSN program, individuals in all states must successfully pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). State nursing boards vary on additional licensing requirements. RN candidates should check with their state board for exact specifications.

Step 3: Gain Clinical Nursing Experience

Newly-licensed RNs qualify for entry-level staff nursing positions. Most employers looking for dialysis clinical managers require applicants to have a minimum of around 18 months of experience in clinical nursing or dialysis treatment. RNs can gain this experience by working in a dialysis center as staff nurses prior to applying for clinic management positions.

Step 4: Consider Earning Certification

Certification can improve career prospects by demonstrating a registered nurse's expertise and competence in a specialized area such as dialysis. To qualify for a certification examination, an individual typically needs to have an RN license along with a combination of clinical experience and academic achievement. For example, the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission offers the Certified Nephrology Nurse (CNN) designation, which is open to licensed RNs who have completed a bachelor's or master's degree in nursing along with 3,000 hours of nephrology nursing experience.

After successfully passing the certification exam, an individual remains certified for three years. Re-certification requirements can be met by completing approved continuing education and clinical experience or by passing a recertification exam.

In summary, a clinical dialysis manager typically needs a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, coupled with state licensure as a registered nurse, and around 18 months' experience as a clinical or dialysis nurse. Voluntary certification could improve career prospects.

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