CDN Recertification


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 by visiting the NNCC website at or by calling 888.884.6622. Your completed application, appropriate forms, copies of supporting materials, and fee must be submitted at one time. Certification is effective for three (3) years from the last day of the month in which the applicant passed the examination. Certification must then be renewed every three (3) years.

Recertification Options

The following two options are available to meet the recertification requirements:

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 CDN by continuing education must be postmarked by the last day of the month in which your certification expires to avoid a late fee. All eligibility requirements must be met during the 3-year certification period.

Download the Full Application

Submit Online Application

  • Applicant must have 30 contact hours* of nephrology continuing education from the following sources:
    • Nephrology-specific nursing continuing education programs
    • American Nephrology Nurses' Association
    • Independent study programs offering nephrology nursing contact hours
    • Academic credit
      • Includes all course work in academic programs leading to a baccalaureate degree in nursing. It is not necessary that the course content be nephrology nursing concepts. This option may be used for only one recertification period.
      • Certificants enrolled in graduate nursing degree programs (master's or higher) may apply only nephrology-related coursework.
      • 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.
      • Five contact hours will be assigned for a book chapter, manuscript, article or paper.
      • Fifteen 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.
  • 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.
      For example, The American Nephrology Nurses' Association (ANNA), which is both an accredited provider and approver of continuing education in nursing.
    • The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)
    • The Council of Continuing Education
    • California, Florida, Kansas, Ohio, and Iowa State Boards of Nursingc
  • 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.
  • If enrolled in a baccalaureate degree in nursing program, all coursework required for the degree can be applied toward the contact hour requirement. The use of coursework to fulfill the continuing education requirement will be approved for only one recertification period.
  • Certificants enrolled in graduate nursing degree programs (master's or higher) may apply only nephrology related coursework toward the contact hour requirement.

* Effective July 1, 2017, the continuing education contact hour requirement will increase to forty-five (45) hours.

Recertification by examination

An examination application can be obtained by clicking the link below. When submitting the examination application for recertification, 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. For pencil/paper exams, an examination application and fee must be submitted by the deadline (eight weeks prior to the examination date). Computer based testing is offered by appointment upon approval, which can take up to four weeks from date of receipt). Applicants who choose the recertification by examination option will be notified of their scores by C-NET, the testing center.

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

Confirm Eligibility

  • Applicant must be a Certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN).
  • 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 caring for patients who require or may require dialysis, or educating/supervising staff who care for patients who require or may require dialysis.
  • 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.

Inactive Status

A CDN 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 CDN 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


Recertification fees are non-refundable. Periodically fees are reevaluated and adjustments may be made. Only NNCC commissioners can authorize fee changes. To avoid a late fee, the recertification application must be postmarked by the last day of the month in which certification expires. A certificant may submit a recertification application after the certification expiration date, provided all eligibility criteria are met during the certification period.

An incomplete or illegible application will be returned to the certificant.

Standard Fees

Fee Name Amount
Recert By Exam Fee
Recert by Continuing Education Fee
Expedited Review
Late Fee
Incomplete Application Fee

Reduced Fees for ANNA Members

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

Other Fees

Fee Name Amount
Exam Rescheduling
Application Processing Fee (Non-refundable)
Hand Scoring of Test Results
Returned Check/Cancelled Payment Fee
Duplicate Wallet Card or Certificate
Certification Validation Letter (Except to State Boards of Nursing)

Issuance of Certificate

If approved for recertification, individuals will receive a laminated wallet card with expiration date within 60 days of the date the National Office receives a recertification application. Replacements are available for a fee. The wall certificate will be issued once.

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 during the 3-year period following certification/recertification. Notifications of changes on other mailing lists such as ANNA may not effect a change in your recertification records.