Becoming an ADON at an ALF or LTCF

  1. How many years experience is typically required to become an ADON at a small Asst Living Facility or LTC Facility? Do you usually need a BSN or MSN? Is a plain ole' Master of Management or MBA good to have at all?
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   TrudyRN
    I don't know exactly. I have seen DON's be brand new grads, though!

    I think a nurse who is going to be a manager should know Nursing pretty well so she can be a resource and help staff avoid trouble. That would require at least several years at the bedside in the same or very similar type of Nursing, in my opinion.

    I think your MBA is the best degree and hope you use it to get into Health Care Administration.

    If you become an ADON, make sure they don't expect you to work any and every time someone calls off. Some places do this to avoid having to pay Agency rates. It is very hard to be abused like that.
  4. by   CoffeeRTC
    Most places do not require a BSN or MSN for a DON or ADON. Depending on the facilty, some just want 2-3 yrs experince in LTC for those positions. Some ALF will take LPNS with experience for some of those positions.
  5. by   TheCommuter
    I work at a large 200-bed LTC facility in Texas with 4 nursing stations. Each nursing station has its own ADON, for a grand total of 4 ADONs at this facility. Every single one of the ADONs is an LPN/LVN with differing amounts of experience. The most experienced ADON has been an LVN for 14 years. The other two ADONs have 7 and 5 years of experience, respectively. The least experienced ADON was promoted to the position with only 3 months of nursing experience as an LVN, mainly because she got along well with the managerial clique.

    In North Central Texas, it is very common to have LVNs serving as ADONs because of the wide scope of practice (and the cost savings).
  6. by   biker nurse
    Here in NC our ADON as well as our DON's have an associates RN
    Some with prior expirence most without. The ones without it is Very OBVIOUS! But it mostly depends on the facility,

    Where I work currently the ADON is the first nurse to cover the floor with a call in. Not a job I would want.:spin:
  7. by   VivaLasViejas
    I'm the DON for a 42-bed ALF, and I have an associate's degree. I've had to learn management the hard way---by doing it (and making a ton of mistakes along the way). But this is not a job for a new grad, even though I know some places will hire any warm body with RN or LPN behind her/his name.........you need top-notch assessment skills, a keen interest in the population you're working with, and a whole lot of what my mother used to call "horse sense".

    I'm sorry, but the average new grad is too busy learning the mechanics of nursing to notice, let alone appreciate, the subtle clues that something is about to hit the fan with a resident in a community-based care setting. I was once a new grad too, and even though I'd had a lot of life experience when I started out as a nurse, I didn't really start picking up on the little things until I'd been in the profession for a couple of years or so. (That's not in the least unusual; it takes a long time to get comfortable in this job.) But it's also why new grads do NOT belong in LTC or ALF as the chief (or ONLY) nurse---there's often no one to bounce things off, no one to tell you you're making a mess of things...........until the state walks in the door!

    Being an ALF nurse isn't just sitting behind a desk writing service plans and directing caregivers. Sometimes when I get home at night, I'm so exhausted, all I can do is fall into bed at 8 PM so I can get up at 5:30 AM and do it all over again for another eight or ten or twelve hours. I'm responsible for the lives and health of 42 residents, as well as staff development, training, continuing education, and discipline. And that's only a small part of the job---I'm also an assistant administrator, teacher, consultant, community liaison, tour guide, HR director, secretary, Mother Confessor to both staff and residents, and all-around answer woman!

    And I wouldn't have it any other way. But I wouldn't recommend this type of job to anyone without several years of floor experience and superb assessment skills........it's a hard job under the best of circumstances, and utterly impossible if you don't have a good foundation built before you start.

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