Need a good advice. Don position?

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    I have an interview for a don position for a snf with 206 cert med beds. I'm not really sure if this is the right bldg to start as a new DON. I have 6 yrs of Ltc exp and currently working as mds coordinator for a smaller facility. Prior to that I worked as an adon for a yr and supervisor the rest of the yrs. I don't know if this would count but I started my first nursing job in this said bldg as a charge nurse. Pls enlighten me. Thanks
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

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    What's concerning you about starting at this facility? Is it the fact that it's so large? That you haven't worked there recently?

    Sometimes it can be more helpful to start in a management position in a facility that you don't work in. It can be difficult to transition from a staff nurse to a director if all of your co-workers are used to being your equals, rather than your subordinates.

    If you're worried about starting in this position, maybe you could ask for a 4 week trial period where both you and the facility can feel out the position and make a mutual decision about whether you should continue.
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    Thank you for the reply ashley. I am actually worried number 1 because its a large Bldg and it would be my first DON position if ever. I guess I just need a reassurance that its ok to start on a big one (though its not ideal). This bldg does not have the best reputation survey wise but I believe thay have a very supportive corporate people. I doubt that they will like the idea of trial DON though but thats a good point.
    For experienced DON, how should I negotiate with salary knowing that this is a big facility? (Im in Southern California) I have no idea how much a DON make.

    Do you think I'm making a big jump to take the DON Position with few yrs of nursing experience.
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    Actually, I think it might be better to start at a larger facility. Generally speaking, larger facilities have been around longer, they tend to have more support staff (for management and employees). They have to have success to grow that large, so they probably have more effective policies in place that made them successful. Their reputation is established and there are plenty of staff members who are familiar with how the facility operates.

    Compared to starting at a small, new facility that hasn't been around the block, doesn't have policies in place, and has a higher turnover rate, I'd choose the larger facility every time.

    I can't offer any advice about salary, since I have no idea what a DON should make in Southern California.

    6 years experience is much more then some charge nurses/managers that I have known. Sure it will be a big jump, but I think it would be a big jump at any point in your career. The facility wouldn't have hired you if they didn't think you could handle it. Just don't expect yourself to be perfect right away. Do a little research about being an effective leader and different management styles. I'm sure you'll quickly adjust and be successful.
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    Thank you ashley i really appreciate it. I'll meat with the admin and consultants tomorrow. Hopefully it will be a success. I would appreciate comments from other experienced DONs.
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    If you have good support staff in sufficient numbers, you can manage anything. It's when you walk into a situation where half the management team members are about to quit (or are already gone) and the ones who remain are presiding over chaos, that you want to think long and hard before signing the job offer. Hope your interview goes well and that it's the right job for you.


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