Important Notice: COVID-19 Institute response

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


Fall 2020 Delivery Mode: BLENDED

  • This program will be delivered for the fall semester as a combination of online and on-campus learning.
  • Faculty will notify students of when their attendance on campus will be required.
  • We are putting measures in place for your safety and well-being, ensuring that all safety protocols are addressed. Please see BCIT COVID-19 Return to Operations for details on the mandatory procedures that have been implemented.
  • Your education is our priority and we will continue to deliver the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that you expect from BCIT.

The only academic renal nursing program in Western Canada, BCIT’s Nephrology Nursing Advanced Specialty program equips you to work in any renal healthcare setting in Canada. As renal disease becomes more prevalent, the demand for our grads rises. They are ready to start working from day one.

Nephrology nurses work closely with patients who require ongoing care or life-sustaining treatment. Using dialysis, renal transplantation, and other treatment methods, nephrology nurses manage illnesses such as chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease. Their work directly impacts quality-of-life and end-of-life care for renal patients.

About the program

  • Part-time, advanced certificate program that takes an average of two years to complete
  • Distance, online learning offers flexibility to keep working as you study
  • Three clinical experiences in a health authority

Our curriculum is guided by the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) nephrology nursing competencies and the standards of practice for the Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses and Technologists. Visit Program Details to find out more about studying nephrology nursing at BCIT.

Who it's for

This program is for individuals who:

  • Are current practicing Registered Nurses (RNs) wanting an advanced nephrology nursing certification, or to complete their specialty Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in nephrology
  • Are nephrology nurses seeking professional development, advancement, and continuing education opportunities
  • Are undergraduate nursing students currently completing an accredited BSN program
  • Are Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Registered Nurses (RNs) wanting to successfully complete the Nephrology Nursing Specialty compressed time frame program (CTF)
  • Have six or more months of relevant work experience in an acute or critical care setting

Does this sound like you? See Program Entry to discover more about entry requirements and how to apply.

Your work experience matters

At BCIT, we value your work experience. If you’ve been working as a nephrology nurse, take advantage of our Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) process and fast track your advanced certification education.

What grads can do

Our grads are in demand, and all of them find work soon after graduation. See Graduating and Jobs for more information.

Program Entry

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:

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.

Entrance requirements

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:

Clinical 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.

Basic Cardiac Life Support Certification

All students participating in clinical courses must have 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.

Respirator 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.

International applicants

International students outside of Canada

International students must be currently working in their nursing specialty area and have a practicing registered nurse’s license in their country to be eligible for this program. All courses are delivered through an online format, so students do not need a study permit.

International students working in Canada

International students who currently hold a work permit and are working in their specialty nursing area with a practicing registered nurse's license are eligible for this program. Students are responsible to maintain a work permit that is valid throughout clinical training. All courses are delivered through an online format, so students do not need a study permit.

International students are required to have a study permit before they attend any in-class courses/exams as part of the program.

Program declaration

Please contact the program assistant to declare this program.

Scheduled intakes

Ongoing Part-time Studies intakes: January, April and September.

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.

Total cost of materials for this program will be approximately $525.

Tuition fees

Please see the Part-time Studies Tuition & Fees page for information on part-time tuition fees.

Tuition is charged on a course-by-course basis. View the courses in the program matrix for individual course fees.

Books and supplies

The program requires four texts for a cost of approximately $335. The Renal Nursing text has an e-book option. Cost of all the texts including optional texts is $525.

Please check the BCIT Bookstore for most current prices.

(general estimated cost, 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

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.

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

Our grads get work

Nephrology nurses provide unique continuity of care. They make a meaningful impact as they ensure the comfort of their patients in various stages of illness. They often work fixed schedules with minimal overnight shifts, depending on the renal care setting. There are many opportunities for work. For example:

  • Hospitals, private, and ambulatory outpatient clinics
  • Community and home health
  • Renal transplant coordination and care
  • Private sector roles in clinical consulting, education, and marketing and sales

Learn more about the work they do by visiting the BC Renal Agency website.

Career opportunities

Most positions start casually or part-time but can quickly move to full-time roles. Salaries start at approximately $32 per hour based on experience, and with job titles such as:

  • Registered nephrology nurse
  • Renal services nurse
  • Registered nurse, renal dialysis
  • Nephrology nurse clinician
  • Renal care coordinators
  • Transplant coordinators
  • Transitional care coordinators

With work experience, nephrology nurses can advance into clinical coordinator, supervisor, and leadership roles.

Keep learning

Our program is recognized by the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA). Grads can receive a credit of 1,000 hours towards their initial certification examination.

Looking to get your BSN? Use your advanced certificate toward completing our Bachelor of Science, Specialty Nursing degree.

Beginning in 2018, BCIT Specialty Nursing Advanced Certificate Graduates can apply to receive transfer credits towards the online, two-year UVIC Master of Nursing program. Applicants can chose from the Advanced Practice Leadership of Nurse Educator options.

Health Match BC

Health Match BC is a new service that helps recent specialty nursing graduates find work within BC. Funded by the provincial government Health Match BC prioritizes the hiring of BC nursing graduates. For more information, download the Health Match BC PDF.

Apply for graduation

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, complete an Program Head to receive an Advanced Certificate.

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

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

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

Contact Us

Stephanie Strong
Program Assistant
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 8875

Questions or comments?

Please ensure you have reviewed the detailed information on this site, using the navigation to the right, before submitting the form below.

As well, if you meet any of the following criteria, please follow the links for more information, instead of sending the form:

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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 Information Access and Privacy.

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