Thinking of taking a DON offer - page 3

I am currently the MDS/POC RN in a 65 bed SNF/NF facility in Central Iowa. Our DON gave notice on Thursday (she will be greatly missed). The ADM asked on Friday if I would consider the DON... Read More

  1. by   Ginger45
    I found it good experience but I wouldn't take it if you plan to stay there. What everyone has said is true. It is extremely rewarding and extremely frustrating. It is a 24 hour job. Your Administrator (no offense to Administrators here) will alot of times not support you. You are golden until the goal is reached then reality strikes. If the home is in trouble, they will give you everything you need to get back into compliance. All the staff you need, all the supplies, etc, etc. Once you have passed the survey, they clamp down on all of the above. I have been a DON 4 times. You do all of the work but get none of the glory. Of course for me, the glory was in my patients, so that was ok. I realized that the DON role was a short term role so became a trouble shouter. Once everything was in place, I left. That can be discouraging. The last job that I was DON at was recently. I loved the facility and planned to stay. But I could feel the writting on the wall. If you are known for being able to pull things back together, they will pay you very well, then put the pressure on you because they want someone cheaper. They will find a way to fire you. I never let them get there but I knew what was going on. There are exceptions, but they are very few and far between. A great MDS nurse is hard to find. If you are really good at that, I would stay in my nitch. :heartbeat
  2. by   salsps
    No venture no gain. For me, life is about taking risks.

    Though I am preparing myself for the nursing program and dont hv any nursing experience to be able to give you more effective advice, somehow I just wanted to give my humble opinion from my perspective.

    Having worked in the company for a no. of years wld put you at an advantage. If I were you, I think I would take the offer. I cannot deny a DON position (like other higher level positions) entails alot of responsibilities. You will be answerable for the major things that go wrong, that is the expectation.
    If you are a committed and responsible DON who does a good job and competent, I dont see why you ought to worry of "being fired". Should something inevitable happens(beyond your control), and you are made to take the responsibility and are fired it would be deemed as unfair dismissal. If that happens you would be able to provide legitimate reasons to prove to the Company and if they still fire you there is the law to protect you. There is no such thing as unreasonableness... to fire someone the Company has to have valid reason, otherwise it wld be deemed as victimization.



    Speaking as a HR Manager and a degree in Industrial Relations with the assumption that the American law is not different from the British legal system.
  3. by   Ginger45
    I don't know about Ohio but Tennessee is a freewill state. You can quit at will and they can fire you at will, no reason. Just something to check out if you do decide to take it.
  4. by   CapeCodMermaid
    Most DON's are employees at will just like anyone else. The employer does not have to have a reasonable reason to fire you...a bad survey is sometimes all it takes.
  5. by   village people
    I have been offered a DON position with the stipulation that I can bring on a clinical specialist/ADON, RD, and MDS supervisor, and specialized training with coporate/regional support for at least 6 months. I have worked as a house sup in acute care. Would appreciate any feedback.:bowingpur
  6. by   schroeders_piano
    I'm currently a DON. It SUCKS with a capital S. It is the worse job that I have ever been in. I am seriously praying that I can find a different job ASAP.
  7. by   CapeCodMermaid
    Quote from village people
    I have been offered a DON position with the stipulation that I can bring on a clinical specialist/ADON, RD, and MDS supervisor, and specialized training with coporate/regional support for at least 6 months. I have worked as a house sup in acute care. Would appreciate any feedback.:bowingpur
    House sup to DNS in LTC???????????????????????? Good luck. If you don't have many years of LTC experience, you won't be able to do it. The responsibilities are very different as are the regs.
    When I was the nurse manager of a very busy sub acute unit, I had to visit a family member in an ICU. Of course it was an emergency so I went in my scrubs. The nurse asked me where I worked and when I told her she said "I tried sub acute and couldn't do it...too many patients, too many regulations...one guy is about to code and someone is yelling because they missed their appointment with the hairdresser!" She said her job was much easier.
    They are two different worlds...that plus they want you to bring an ADNS, RD, and MDS expert with you. If the facility needs all those key players, it wouldn't be a good place for your first DNS job.
    Think long and hard before you accept.
  8. by   Blackcat99
    I have worked at my present job for 1 year. There have been 2 state inspections. Both of the DON's were fired after each inspection.
  9. by   village people
    Does it help if I am currently a Long-term care state regulator that is SQMT qualified?
  10. by   CapeCodMermaid
    Quote from village people
    Does it help if I am currently a Long-term care state regulator that is SQMT qualified?
    nope.
  11. by   Upstate NY DON
    the DON position is extremely stressful, you are blamed for EVERYTHING. the position takes away from your spouses and kids. You are always stressed as you work 24/7. the key to all of the above is a fair/considerate/understanding/team play of an Administrator! without that, you are shark meat waiting to be eaten.
  12. by   Upstate NY DON
    the average DON stay is 2 years in NY. Shortage of staff, underpay, and the neglect of your family and the need for psychiatric intervention at some point is the reason for the short length of stay in that position. Plus its seldom you find good people to work with. someone is always blaming you or trying to get you fired. DON is a horrible position. But surprisingly to me, its what i want to do (I love administrative work and a nice office) it usually takes me about 24hours and i forget the Bull chit and horrible people that i work with and I am back to enjoying what I do. (thanks to some Ativan). I think what i need most is a support group of other DON's
  13. by   Neats
    I agree with Upstate NY DON in saying that team work is the key. As a LNHA and student nurse I stay out of my DON's way and ask what can I do to make your job easier? Sometimes it is bringing my DON my homemade chicken tamales.
    I've been in good facilities and facilities that need improvement. Even the good facilities had challenges it just wasn't so bad when you work with great people.
    I applaud anyone whose position is ADON or DON you are worth your weight in gold.

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