Thinking of taking a DON offer - page 4

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   marnacla
    WOW! You're scaring me folks. I'm thinking of accepting a DON offer because I'm pretty burned out in acute (many years in ICU/ER/management) and thought it would be FUN! Can anyone here tell me what they like about their job? I mean, staffing and personalities can always be a challenge but their must be decent administrators out there??
  2. by   marnacla
    I mean 'there.' LOL
  3. by   LauraF, RN
    I have a great Administrator, but the job is not "fun". It is a very hard and stressful job. It may be better if you get a decent orientation. Good luck.
  4. by   Neats
    As I read the replies I see so much bias against LTC it saddens me as we all are going to be there some day, some faster than others. We as nurses and me as a Licensed Administrator I can see and feel the frustration and joy of our industry.

    If you are considering a DON position look for an Administrator who had a great relationship with the prior DON. If you can speak to the leaving DON do so and ask questions. Go out to lunch with the Administrator, get to know the person. You do not have to agree on everything. Again I run the facility my job is to see to it the DON has everything they need to do their job. If the Administrator bad mouths the prior DON I would say run fast, very fast and do not look back. I and some of my fellow Administrators have had nurses follow us to other facilities so yes there are good Administrators out there.

    Also look for an Administrator who has been at a facility for at least 2 years or longer. This tells you the Administrator is functioning well or do not go into a facility unless the new Administrator has over 8 years of experience. Again both of these demonstrate stability of sound management skills and the ability to get along with people.
    Hope this helps.
  5. by   CapeCodMermaid
    No offense but if you think you can go from acute car to being the DNS of a skilled facility without any long term experience you're delusional.
    Oh sure parts of the job are fun...being held responsible for anything that goes wrong in the building, being on call 24/7, being everything to everyone.
    The average length of stay for a DNS in Massachusetts is 17 months. Does that tell you something?
  6. by   marnacla
    Update: I just had a very long conversation with the administrator on the phone and they're going to fly me over for a visit. I fully expect this to be a challenge but isn't that what life is all about? No risk no gain. Right? (applause)
  7. by   noc4senuf
    I agree with CCM. If you have never been subject to LTC, then it is probably going to be tough going and an uphill road for you. It takes a long time to get to know the state and federal regs, it doesn't happen overnite. Just as i have ever known LTC and wouldn't begin to know or understand enough to run a nurisng unit in a hospital.

    Years ago, I took a position as a unit manager and my co-worker was also new in her position as a unit manager. All of her experience was that of a hospital nurse (E.D.). Within one month, they asked her to become the DON, since she had years of experience. She did not know the first thing about LTC. and I ended up in her office daily teaching her. After a year of this, she moved on and i decided to go elsewhere and become a DON myself and have never looked back.

    Being a DON is a rewarding job, but as mentioned before, it is very stressful at times even knowng the ropes.
  8. by   NurseExec
    Acute care straight to DON of a SNF? I'm sorry but I'll have to agree with CapeCodMermaid--and say that I think you're setting yourself up for failure. I came from acute care, spent a year as a staff nurse, 3 years as risk manager, and have been a DON for 3 years. I'm still learning every day, and I have an administrator that is second to none.

    What are you going to do if state walks in on a complaint investigation on your second day? You won't have the first clue about the regs, and there are something like 543 of the Federal ones, not including the state regs.

    I'm not trying to warn you off of working in a SNF, but start smaller, and work your way up. Give yourself an opportunity to learn to love it, like I do. If I had taken the DON job out of the gate (even WITH the most wonderful administrator in the world), I'd have lasted no time at all, and I sure wouldn't have loved it.

    Best of luck, whichever way you go.

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