Vascular access is one of the leading causes of mobilization of financial resources in health systems for people with chronic kidney disease on hemodialysis. Physical examination of the arteriovenous fistula (AVF) has demonstrated its effectiveness in identifying complications. We decided to evaluate the influence of nurses' professional experience in the detection of complications of the AVF (venous stenosis and steal syndrome). The study took place in eight hemodialysis centers between May and September of 2011 in the north of Portugal. Sample was constituted by registered nurses. The nurses involved in the experiment were divided in two groups: those who had more than 5 years of experience and those who had less than 5 years of experience. Ninety-two nurses participated in the study: 34 nurses had less than 5 years of professional experience and 58 had more than 5 years of professional experience. In the practices considered by nurses in the detection of venous stenosis, there were no differences observed between the groups (P>0.05). In steal syndrome, there were no differences observed between the groups in the practices of the nurses in the detection of this complication of the AVF (P>0.05). We concluded that professional experience does not influence the detection of venous stenosis and steal syndrome.