Understanding the Role of Directors of Nursing in Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Facilities

Long-term care facilities are looking to fill DON jobs in CA, giving job applicants who already have plenty of experience and training in skilled nursing and healthcare administration the opportunity to progress their careers and make a meaningful difference in patients’ lives. It’s important for potential applicants to understand exactly what Nursing Home Directors of Nursing do so they can decide whether this position would be a good fit for them. Read on to get a better idea of the basic duties and responsibilities of a Director of Nursing in Long Term Care to get started.

What is a Director of Nursing?

A director of nursing, or DON, is a registered nurse who is responsible for supervising patient care at a healthcare facility. They receive specialized training beyond that required for getting a job as a staff nurse and, in some cases, must hold special licenses. In most facilities, the DON is second-in-command to the facility’s general administrator, which means they have a number of responsibilities on their plates and are responsible for filling in for administrators in their absence.

What Does a DON Do?

A director of nursing is responsible for facilitating communications between physicians, nursing staff, and patients. They are the ones who communicate patients’ needs to the doctors and are responsible for ensuring adequate patient care. Federal laws mandate that directors of nursing work in their positions for a minimum of 35 hours per week, so it is a full-time job that comes with a good deal of responsibility.

What are the Duties Associated with DON Jobs?

Those who are applying for DON Jobs in California should expect to work with patients, nursing staff, and doctors alike to prevent accidents and ensure adequate patient care. This involves making sure that adequate nursing staff is always available and these staff members’ skills remain current and up-to-date. That often requires the hiring of new nurses and the training of existing staff. Directors of nursing are also responsible for overseeing employee conduct and ensuring that each resident’s health needs are being met.

In cases where long-term care facilities are facing allegations of patient neglect or abuse, directors of nursing may be called on as witnesses at trial. They should always maintain knowledge of any incidents that have occurred at their facilities. If an incident results in the death or injury of a patient, the DON may be held legally liable in the event his or her negligence was directly responsible for the incident.

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