DON Interview...Advice needed!

  1. Hi all! I have been in the management field for the past 4 years. My primary background was working in a supervisory role at a managed care organization, leading the teams of social worker's and RN's. I have also been a program director for group homes, and as such, managed unlicensed personnel. I have extensive experience in writing policies and procedures, working with "the state," marketing, and managing staff issues...However, my only LTC experience was years ago as a CNA. Anyway, I applied for a DON job, and have an interview on Monday. I'm so excited, but am not quite sure where to begin. I have reviewed Wisconsin CMS guidelines, PASSAR stuff, and the last survey. What info should I all be armed with to go in there and make a good impression? Thank you all in advance!

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    About nurse.christine

    Joined: Mar '12; Posts: 17; Likes: 2


  3. by   CapeCodMermaid
    Are you sure you are ready to be a DON? Your only experience in LTC was as a CNA? Do you know the regs? Can you stay within budget and still provide excellent care? Are you prepared to work 50-60+ hours every week and be on call 24/7? Why LTC and why the DON?
  4. by   Nascar nurse
    1. How much orientation can you expect and who will be training you? What ongoing support do they offer, ie: how often will the corporate nurse be in to provide assist after orientation is done?

    2. What is the PPD for staffing?

    3. When was last survery, last survey results (which you have already read, but let them explain it). Were they back in compliance with the first resurvey?

    4. Experience/longevity of your support staff, ie: the ADON, MDS nurse, inservice cordinator, unit managers, etc.

    It sounds like you are trying to learn the regs and such on your own which is good. I've seen some with no real LTC experience miserably fail (and were just a joke to work with) but I did see one DON with no LTC who ended up doing a fantastic job.

    Best of luck
  5. by   Ruas61
    What's been their turn over rates? Is it private or corporate owned?
  6. by   nurse.christine
    Thank you all so much for the excellent feedback...After reading through these forums a bit, I am a little scared of a DON role. But it's worth a shot--I'm always up for new challenges!
  7. by   Electro
    Don't be afraid.

    Don't try to overburden yourself either or you WILL burn out. If you're working 50-60 hours per week CONSISTENTLY then something is wrong and some of the burden needs to be delegated elsewhere.

    You will never know every single reg, which is why you can buy the watermelon book (LTC Survey Guidance for Surveyors) from AHCA. It's about 3 1/2 inches thick, so if you can remember all those F-Tags, you're probably also immortal.

    Try to familiarize yourself with what the MDS 3.0 is.

    Don't be afraid to negotiate. If you're going to be on call, negotiate a company cell phone with access to your outlook calendar. Also request that they pay for your NADONA membership.

    During the interview I personally would ask about infection rate, current skin problems, and restraint percentage. It can tell you a LOT about how the facility it currently being managed.
  8. by   noc4senuf
    I would be very hesitant that would hire a new DON without LTC background. And, depending on the area you are looking at, some of the WI survey teams are brutal.
    Last edit by noc4senuf on Mar 7, '12 : Reason: typo