Nephrology Social Work-Certified (NSW-C) Program FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the NSW-C cost?
Initial certification $75: Renewal $50

How long does the NSW-C last?
Certification is for 3 years and each renewal is for 3 years.

Do I have to apply online?
We encourage all applicants to use the online system, however applications may be submitted by mail. It will take longer to process “paper” applications. To request a paper application, email certification@kidney.org or call 800.622.9010 and ask to speak with the Professional Membership Manager.

Do I send in information as I get it?
No. All information and documentation must be sent in at the same time to avoid any mix-up or mismatching of documentation.

What about state licensing?
There is no set level of state licensing required as each state’s licensing is different.

My state does not have licensing – Can I still apply?
Yes, if you do not have licensing in your state, you may still apply for the NSW-C until December 31, 2010. After that date, all applicants must be licensed in the state(s) in which they practice.

For the application, you may attach a statement saying that licensure is not required in your state and that you are applying prior to December 31, 2010. This can be inserted in the section reserved for a copy of your licensure.

I am currently working on obtaining my state license. Do I have to wait to apply for the NSW-C?
No, during 2009 and 2010 there will be an initial grandfather period to allow time to complete the licensing requirements. Beginning 1/1/2011, licensure will be mandatory.

Who has access to this information?
You do. Otherwise the information is confidential and only the NSW-C Board will have access to your information.

What about CEUs?
Until December 31, 2010 you will need to show only that you have 20 hours of continuing education during the last 2 years.

Beginning 1/1/2011, you will have to show 20 hours of continuing education credits during the last two years, with 10 of those hours being nephrology-specific, and 3 hours must be in ethics.

At renewal, you will submit 30 hours of continuing education during the last 3 years, with 10 of those hours being nephrology-specific and 3 hours must be in ethics.

I don’t have 3 renal social workers where I work to complete the Competency Form. What do I do?
Two of the evaluations must be by renal social workers. One may be from another renal professional.

Some suggestions for the social worker evaluations:

  1. A corporate renal social work director who is familiar with your work.
  2. A renal social worker in your local CNSW chapter with whom you have worked or discussed cases.
  3. A renal social worker (even out of state) with whom you have worked and consulted on transient or transplant situations.
  4. A renal social worker who is willing to discuss (in person on by phone) your cases in terms of the skills criteria.
  5. A renal social worker with whom you worked in the past.
  6. A NKF Division/Affiliate social work staff member familiar with your work.
  7. A renal Network social worker familiar with your work.
  8. Form a conference call "professional consultation group." Document the calls and, when comfortable, participants can evaluate each other.

Any of the NSW-C Board will be glad to talk with you about your specific situation and help you determine who might be an appropriate individual to approach about your evaluations.

My hospital/facility is paying my certification fee. How is that handled?
You have 2 options:

  1. Pay with your own funds and seek reimbursement.
  2. Apply using a paper application, enclosing your company’s check with your application.

Please note – application fee is non-refundable.

Can my Competency Form be completed by a retiree or someone who is no longer in nephrology?
We will accept competency forms from retired nephrology social workers or those who are no longer working in nephrology, however, they will need to submit a copy of their most recent resume or CV and these will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. There is no promise that the Board will accept these individuals as meeting the two nephrology social worker requirement.