Part-time/Distance & Online Learning Advanced Certificate 680mascert


Nephrology Nursing aims to work in partnership with people who have renal disease to optimize their health and that of their families and communities. Renal disease is a chronic illness often irreversible condition arising from many causes, and frequently progresses to end-stage renal disease that requires dialysis or transplantation to sustain life. Renal disease impacts all body systems and, combined with the treatment, affects the person's diet, energy level, self-image, ability to work and overall lifestyle. It also affects family members as their income and roles may also change.

Nephrology Nursing is for you if:
  • You enjoy working with clients and families living with renal disease and complex, comorbidities.
  • You can bring a caring human touch to clients' and family members' experiences of chronic illness.
  • Your style of practice suits collaborative, interdisciplinary teamwork and holistic and empowering care approach.
BCIT's Nephrology Nursing Specialty program prepares RNs to practice in hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, renal transplant, home hemodialysis, chronic kidney disease management, advance renal anatomy and pathophysiology, renal nursing assessment, and self-care management. The courses and workshops in our program have been designed and created in collaboration, partnership and consultation with British Columbia Provincial Renal Agency, Health Authorities throughout the province of British Columbia, Canadian Nurses Association, Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses and Technologist, and other important internal and external stakeholders, as well as alumni, currently practising nephrology nurses, renal care administrators, nephrology nursing educators, and BCIT nephrology nursing faculty. Thus, our curriculum and course matrix reflect the perspectives of learners, practitioners and educators.

The Nephrology Nursing program can lead to two levels of qualification:
  1. Experienced Registered Nurses can earn an advance certificate in Nephrology Nursing after completing 25 credits.
  2. Diploma RN graduates can earn Bachelor of Science in Specialty Nursing (BSN SN) after completing an additional 35 credits (for a total of 60 credits).

To be successful in the Nephrology Nursing program, you need:
  • Excellent critical thinking skills.
  • The ability to make sound clinical judgments.
  • Excellent organization and communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • The ability to work collaboratively with clients, family members and a health-care team.
  • Flexibility in managing rapidly changing client situations.
  • Motivation and energy to learn and expand your practice.
Nurses interested in the Nephrology Nursing program should have a minimum of twelve months of recent experience on an acute care unit. For interested nurses from international practice, residential or other areas of care, a refresher course in acute care may be required. BCIT recommends the following programs:

Douglas College
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Thompson Rivers University

Please contact one of the institutions above, as well as the Nephrology Nursing program at BCIT, to determine an appropriate preparatory course of study.

Learn more on our Program Details and Courses pages.

Ready to enroll? Visit our Program Entry page for more information.

Program Entry

Entrance requirements

Note: Effective immediately, all health care workers who come into contact with patients at publicly-funded health care facilities or in the community, including at long-term-care facilities, will have to get the influenza vaccine or wear a mask during flu season. This policy affects all students who will be entering a clinical setting.

As such, you will be required to provide proof of your immunization or agree to wear a mask at all times prior to being placed in your clinical studies.

The following are requirements for program entry into Specialty nursing certificate and degree courses. Enforcement or waiving of any or all entry requirements is at the discretion of the Program Head.

If you have any questions about your experience or qualifications, please contact the Program Head to arrange program advising.

English Language Proficiency

Specialty Nursing courses are taught in the English language and require adequate English skills. To review BCIT’s requirements on English Language proficiency, please visit BCIT’s Admission and Registration page on English Requirements.

Work Experience

RNs or undergraduate students currently registered in an accredited RN or BSN program may start their Specialty Nursing Certificate by taking entry level theory courses. Applicants to the more advanced Specialty Nursing Certificate courses may require a minimum of 6 months to 1 year of relevant work experience in an acute care setting and a resume of work experience may be required to progress in the program. If you have questions about whether your work experience qualifies, please contact the Program Head.

If you are a long term or residential care nurse or an RN lacking current (within the last 2 years) acute care experience, Kwantlen College offers a Competency Assessment and Enhancement for Nurses course that provides a refresher in acute care principles.

This assessment involves an individual self assessment, multiple choice exam and practice simulation. This course may be required for admission in the Specialty Nursing programs. For more information on Kwantlen's offering please visit:

Once you have been assessed, you may be required to complete a tailored curriculum designed to meet BCIT's need for familiarity with acute care principles. This curriculum may include some of the following courses:

Requirements for clinical courses in Specialty Nursing:

Basic Cardiac Life Support Certification

All students participating in clinical courses must have current Current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Level C or Level Health Care Provider (HCP). The original certificate must be presented upon application to the clinical courses.

CRNBC Registration

As well as providing this information at the time of admission, BCIT requires students to provide proof of CRNBC membership (or Canadian provinvial equivalent) for each clinical course they enroll in. Without proper provincial registration, you will not be permitted to continue in the course.

Face Respirator Fit Testing

A face piece respiratory fit test is required before students are permitted to enter the clinical practicum. Upon successful completion of the fit test, the original certificate must be presented to the program and annual re-fitting is required. Students are expected to carry their certificate with them at all times during their practicum.

For the Respirator Fit Testing, fit testing with a N95 respirator (1860, 1860s or 1870) is required and must be performed, in accordance with CSA Standard CAN/CSA-Z94.4-02. Fit Testing must also include, inspection, cleaning, maintenance and storage of protective equipment. Students will be given specific instructions in preparation for their fit testing by the provider they choose.

Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)

Experienced Nephrology nurses have a variety of opportunities to gain advanced placement in our program. We invite nurses with experience to challenge courses in the program by demonstrating knowledge in relation to the learning intentions of each of the courses being challenged. In addition, prior learning assessment processes provide an opportunity to gain credit for the first four courses. Please contact the Program Head if you wish to investigate these possibilities.

Costs & Supplies

Face respirator fit testing - approx $25 per year; annual re-fitting required.

Tuition fees

Please check the current availability of courses in the program matrix for individual course fees. You may find three different fees for the same course: one for Canadian citizens, one for international students, and one for re-registration.

Books and supplies

The program requires four texts for a cost of approximately $334.
In addition, you will require one reading package per course comprised of articles referenced in the course manuals.
(general estimated cost and subject to change).


Program matrix

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Required Courses: (25.0 credits) Credits
  NSNN 7200 Nephrology Nursing Theory 1: Introduction 3.0
  NSNN 7300 Nephrology Nursing Clinical 1: Chronic Kidney Disease 3.0
  NSNN 7400 Nephrology Nursing Theory 2: Introduction to Dialysis Nursing 3.0
  NSNN 7500 Nephrology Nursing Clinical 2: Nursing Care of the Person on Dialysis 5.0
  NSNN 7600 Nephrology Nursing Theory 3: Living with Renal Disease and Complex Health Challenges 3.0
  NSNN 7700 Nephrology Clinical 3 5.0
  NSSC 7115 Teaching and Learning in Specialty Nursing 3.0
Total Credits: 25.0

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

Program length

The length of the program varies, as BCIT offers it in a variety of formats:

  • BCIT offers theory and some clinical courses by part-time, independent study. We deliver theory courses over a 12-week term using guided-learning modules and telephone tutor support. They often include teleconferences, which provide opportunities for students and tutors to discuss issues relevant to the course. If you work full-time, you would generally register for one theory course per term, although this can vary depending on your additional commitments.

  • Through independent study, learn in you own community and structure your learning schedule in a manner that is most convenient for you. Clinical courses range from a few days of clinical placement to 125 hours of clinical placement completed either full time over three to four weeks, or part time over 12 weeks. If you live outside BC, you may negotiate clinical placements.

Maximum program length for either the Advanced Certificate or the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is seven years.

Graduating & Jobs

Job Opportunities

Find career openings throughout British Columbia and abroad where renal programs exist. Hospitals are the primary employers, although many communities and traveling nursing companies also offer a variety of opportunities. Nurses can obtain employment in a variety of practice areas: hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, chronic renal insufficiency clinics and transplant areas.

Apply for graduation

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, complete an Application for BCIT Credential [PDF] and submit to the Program Head to receive an Advanced Certificate.

Contact Us

Tony Chacon
Program Head
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 7104

Stephanie Wood
Program Assistant
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 2230

Questions or comments?

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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy.

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