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CNN® Exam Review

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Course Description

This course is a review of all modalities of renal replacement therapy designed to assist participants to successfully obtain CNN certification. The course offers lectures, graphics and practice questions based on the CNN Exam blueprint. This review will provide the knowledge base necessary to pass the certification exam.

Why be Certified:
Those who successfully achieve certification exhibit a level of experience and expertise to provide excellent care to patients, as well as interact with other healthcare professionals for effective communication. In addition, certification can provide the opportunity to advance your career within the practice of nephrology nursing.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program prepares the learner to:

  • Determine priority of needs for a CKD Stage 4 patient.
  • Describe the evaluation process for donors and recipients of kidney transplants.
  • Differentiate types of immunosuppressive therapy and potential side effects.
  • Discuss the fluid balance assessment of the patient on Peritoneal Dialysis.
  • Describe the relationship between flow, resistance and pressure in hemodialysis.
  • Explain the consequences of not following the Conditions for Coverage mandated CDC guidelines for proper hand hygiene for dialysis patients.
  • Contrast site rotation cannulation with the buttonhole cannulation techniques.
  • Describe the multiple filters required in a water treatment system for hemodialysis.
  • Verbalize how to complete a physical examination of the vascular access.
  • Identify three risks factors that could make reuse dangerous to patients or staff.


Sign-in begins at 7:30 am. Each day includes a one-hour lunch (on your own), as well as a morning and afternoon break of 15 minutes each. The order of lectures presented and break times may vary according to speaker preference.

Day 1, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

  • CNN Exam Process
    Review of Exam | Test-Taking Strategies | Certification and Re-Certification
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
    Progression of Disease | Stages | Focus of Treatment | Education Needs: Diet, Medications, Vascular Access
  • Peritoneal Dialysis (PD)
    Anatomy and Physiology | Procedure | PET Testing | Determining Adequacy | Issues: Pros and Cons
  • Transplantation
    Types of Transplants | Workup | Listing | Immunosuppressive Drugs | Types of Rejection | Issues: Pros and Cons
  • Nutritional Considerations
    Role of the Dietitian: Assessment, Anthropometric Measurements, SGA | Renal Diet: Needs, Losses, Restrictions | Medications | Electrolyte Concerns

Day 2, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

  • Hemodialysis and Concepts of Renal Failure
    Anatomy and Physiology | Manifestations | Causes of Renal Failure: Acute and Chronic | Principles of Hemodialysis | Vascular Access: Types, Education, Pros and Cons | Cannulation Techniques
  • Infection Control
    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Regulations: Bloodborne Pathogens, Infection Control Plans | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Recommendations | Conditions for Coverage (CfC) Regulations | Issues: Hand Hygiene and Surface Cleaning; Isolation Requirements; Resistant Organizations; Vascular Access Risks; Machines
  • Water and Reuse
    American Advancement for Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) Regulations | Conditions for Coverage | Testing Requirements | Allowable Limits and Action Levels | Water Filters | Reuse: Practice, Pros and Cons, Issues
  • Acute Dialysis and Renal Replacement Therapies
    Acute Kidney Injury | CVV | CVVH | CVVHD | Indications for Therapy