With the rate of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in America spiking over the past two decades, the role of the nephrology nurse has become increasingly important as more lives are affected.
Approximately 26 million Americans suffer from CKD, and nephrology nurses are the frontline specialists who care for patients with potential or progressive kidney disease. These nurses have a challenging and sophisticated job: they administer complex dialysis treatments, interpret lab results, teach patients, and coordinate life-saving transplants.
Because their education and training is directly related to outcomes, the American Nephrology Nurses' Association (ANNA) recently released a new textbook, Nephrology Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice, 7th Edition, presenting detailed recommendations for care and defining every aspect of the nephrology nurse's role.
"Standards of practice set the mark for providing the highest-quality nursing care," said Norma Gomez, MBA, MSN, RN, CNN, the book's editor. "This not only helps keep patients safe, but it offers nurses a clear and definitive process of care for the kidney patient."
Gomez said the number of people diagnosed with kidney failure has doubled in each of the past two decades and is expected to continue at that rate. This calls for more – and more qualified – nurses, so the book includes two notable additions: criteria to measure nursing competencies and additional competencies for the advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who specializes in nephrology.
Along with these new sections, the expanded Scope and Standards features an introduction to nephrology nursing, a formal definition of the specialty, an updated scope of practice, and standards of practice statements. The 263-page book also has a section of examples on how to use the standards and the nephrology nursing process in clinical practice.
To ensure the new Scope and Standards was as comprehensive and accurate as possible, ANNA assigned a workgroup to spearhead the project and put it out for review by ANNA's national leaders, Special Interest Groups, and members.
American Nephrology Nurses' Association