2/6/04 - American Nephrology Nurses' Association Issues Position Statement on Nursing's Role in Management of End-Stage Renal Disease

February 6, 2004
Information: Janet D’Alesandro
856-256-2422 • janetd@ajj.com

American Nephrology Nurses’ Association
Issues Position Statement on Nursing’s Role in Management
of End-Stage Renal Disease

PITMAN, NJ - The American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA) has released a new position statement asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to evaluate all proposals for the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Disease Management Demonstration Project for the appropriate inclusion of nephrology nurses.

The position statement, entitled "The Role of Nephrology Nursing in ESRD Disease Management," outlines the reasons why nephrology nurses should be included at the general and advanced practice levels both within and outside the dialysis unit. Full text of the position statement is available on the ANNA Web site at www.annanurse.org

"Nurses are the very essence of a successful disease management program," said ANNA President-Elect Lesley C. Dinwiddie, MSN, RN, FNP, CNN. She said that ANNA released the position statement "to make sure CMS will consider the critical role of nephrology nurses when evaluating these proposals."

According to CMS, the 4-year ESRD project was launched to test the effectiveness of disease management models in ensuring the most efficient provision of care and increasing the quality of care for ESRD patients. Eligible organizations include dialysis providers, disease management organizations, Medicare Advantage plans, and integrated health systems.

Dinwiddie said that the project is a win/win situation for nurses and patients because the effort involves intensive oversight. While treating ESRD patients involves a collaborative team of health care providers, she added that, "The person providing the most constant patient care and education is the nurse. It is the nurse whom patients will call if they have a problem."

ANNA is therefore advocating appropriate roles for nurses in all ESRD disease management models because "we know the absence of nurses can result in negative outcomes for patients," according to Dinwiddie. She said that ANNA welcomes questions and is available to consult with any organization involved in the CMS demonstration project and that the Association will continue to advocate for appropriate nursing inclusion in all models of patient care.


ANNA is a professional nursing association comprised of more than 12,000 nephrology nurses. The association is dedicated to advancing nephrology nursing practice and positively influencing outcomes for patients with kidney or other disease processes requiring replacement therapies through advocacy, scholarship, and excellence.