Role of RN in Dialysis Therapy

The Maine State Board of Nursing issues this Position Statement to guide the practice of dialysis nursing. The Board's primary concern is the health and safety of patients.

This Position Statement delineates nursing roles and responsibilities for the safe delivery of specialized health care in the dialysis setting. The Board supports the collaborative role of the registered professional nurse (R.N.) with members of a multidisciplinary team in the provision of care to individuals undergoing dialysis therapy for either acute or chronic renal failure. The Board believes that the overall accountability and responsibility for nursing care provided to patients and the coordination of patient care activities, including the provision of many specific dialysis-related assessments and interventions, rests with the registered professional nurse. Specifically, the registered professional nurse is responsible for pre-assessment, ongoing assessment and post assessment of the dialysis patient.

Unlicensed assistive personnel in dialysis settings are individuals who are trained to function in an assistive role in the provision of patient care activities. The registered professional nurse is responsible for continuous assessment of the patient's condition and care needs, and for recognizing the unlicensed assistive person's competencies and skills.

Training of the unlicensed assistive person must be in accordance with a detailed curriculum with outcome measures identified to evaluate the trainee. Technological changes should be the basis for updating competency of registered professional nurses and unlicensed assistive personnel in providing dialysis care.