Certified Nephrology Nurse (CNN) Exam
Nephrology nurses who obtain the Certified Nephrology Nurse (CNN) certification have a competitive advantage over uncertified nephrology nurses in the work force. Certification also gives patients and their families some peace of mind; knowing that they, or their loved ones, are receiving the best quality care from the most highly qualified professionals available in the nephrology profession.
To take the CNN examination, an applicant must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- The applicant must hold a full and unrestricted license as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the
- United States or in one of its occupied territories.
- The applicant must have a minimum of two years experience in nephrology nursing, either as a registered nurse in a clinical staff, an administrator, a teacher, or as a researcher. This experience must be within the three years prior to submitting the application.
- At least 50 percent of the employment hours outlined above must be in nephrology nursing.
- The applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in the field of nursing.
- The applicant must have completed a minimum of 30 contact hours of approved Continuing Education (CE) credit in nephrology nursing within the three years prior to submitting the application.
All continuing education credits must be approved by one of the following organizations:
- Organizations accredited by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center-Commission on Accreditation (ANCC-COA), the credentialing body of the American Nurses’ Association, and the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA).
- The American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN)
- The Council of Continuing Education
- The California, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, or Ohio state boards of nursing
The CNN examination is available in both a hand-written and a computer-based format. The hand-written examination consists of 200 questions and must be completed in four hours. The computer-based examination contains 175 questions and must be completed in three hours. The minimum passing score is between 70 and 75 percent, depending on the test version.
The categories covered on the CNN examination and the weight of each category is as follows:
- Renal failure concepts: 35 percent
- Hemodialysis: 30 percent
- Peritoneal dialysis: 18 percent
- Transplants: 12 percent
- Acute therapies: 5 percent
The examination objectives that CNN candidates are expected to perform and the weight each objective carries can be broken down as follows:
- Recognize pathologic processes that occur in renal failure and/or treatment modalities:
- Select interventions that are appropriate to the pathologic processes and complications that occur in kidney disease and/or treatment modalities: 15 percent
- Apply physiologic and technical principles of renal replacement therapies: 12 percent
- Select the appropriate teaching and learning strategies to educate patients and their families, other health professionals, and the public: 10 percent
- Choose appropriate actions in administering medications to patients being treated for kidney disease: 12 percent
- Recognize the importance of an interdisciplinary approach in order to promote optimum functioning across the continuum of care: 5 percent
- Apply principles of infection control: 16 percent
- Recognize the importance of utilizing professional nursing practices in order to promote the best patient outcomes possible in each individual circumstance: 4 percent