• Specializes in Admin, ER, ICU, Med-Surg. Has 13 years experience.

Hi! I'm a new member, I've followed the site for awhile now and joined tonight. Looking for advice, I interview tomorrow for a DON position a small facility (54 beds). I've been a nurse for 3 years and a CNA for 4 years before that. Most of which was has been in LTC. I have also worked for a hospital in acute care, psych and ER (I work for a float agency).

Anyways, I am interviewing at this facility. I looked up their surveys and they aren't the best, for the last three years they have had at least 10 flags and at least one fine.

I'm just looking for advice, I've never been a DON before, or an ADON, I have been a charge nurse and house supervisor before though.

What type of things should I ask? What should I be looking for? What is the typical pay for a DON in Iowa?

Thanks! :-)

Davey Do

1 Article; 10,290 Posts

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 44 years experience.

Welcome, cgwrn!

I'm first impressed by your background and second by your succinctness. Then, by your assertiveness in pursuing an Administrative position this early in your Nursing career. You kind of remind me of me, back when I had been an RN for three years and became Nursing Supervisor for a Home Health Agency after working for them full time for only a month... oh. Wait a minute. This isn't about me. It's about you wanting to know what questions to ask what to look for, etc., during your interview. Okay. Here goes:

Since you've already done some admirable homework on this Facility, why not enquire on those grounds? I've merely worked LTC as a floor Nurse, but I enquired as to their status when I was being interviewd. Nobody looked askance at me. And I got the job. The LTC Facility was eventually shut down. But that's another story...

With your background, I think you probably already have a pretty good idea of what to look for in your prospective place of employment. You know, cleanliness, Client sataus, Employee behavior, supplies, etc.

I'm hoping some experienced Nurses in this area will chime in (and I'm sure you do too) as far as the pay rate goes. I know, as a Nursing supervisor, some of the Nurses I managed made more money than me... There I go again: Talking about myself. Sorry. We all like to talk about ourselves, don't we? Oh well.

Good luck to you in your endeavors. I hope you get what ypu want, cgwrn!


CapeCodMermaid, RN

6,090 Posts

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health. Has 30 years experience.

Do you really think you have enough experience to be a DON? How long were you a supervisor? It's a big step from floor nurse to DON. Ask if there is any support at the corporate level. If not, how will you learn how to be a DON? I can't speak to the salaries in your area, but I can speak to the folly of accepting a job as DON without enough background and support.


55 Posts

Specializes in Admin, ER, ICU, Med-Surg. Has 13 years experience.

That is something I have been wondering as well Capecod. I have been a charge nurse for the last three years and have been house supervisor for two years. While I would agree I am young and do not have years and years of experience. I know what I expect from nurses and aides, it is what I expect from myself. As house supervisor I have helped write policies and procedures, helped enforce them. Additionally I have been in charge of QA and audits.

I also have a great support system including numerous DONs that have agreed to help me whenever I need them to. Long term care seems to run in my family, my grandmother owns stock and has served on the board of directors for over 20 years of a skilled care facility that for the last five years has had a perfect survey. The administrator and the DON at this facility have both promised to give me an amazing amount of support as I move forward, if I get offered the job and if I accept it.