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Assistant director of nursing... is this a mistake?


Specializes in Long term care. Has 2 years experience.

So I have an interesting predicament I am hoping someone can provide some insight on. I have been a nurse for about a year. Prior to nursing I had a first career as a researcher and a scientist. I have a phd in psychology and was a professor/researcher for many years. I am a new nurse, still learning lots, and greatful for every opportunity that has been thrown my way. I am currently working a job I dislike and am looking to change. I had an interview at a mental health facility for an RN position. I felt the interview went well and they told me they were interested. After a second interview they told me to think about it and get back to them the next day with salary requirements. I did that. They said they would get into contact with HR and get back to me. I spoke to HR today and she came back with this: after reviewing your credentials we want to interview you for the assistant director of nursing position. I said I was interested, that I needed a job description and I was looking forward to this meeting. 

I feel a bit strange about this. Administration has never been an aspiration of mine. I love nursing because I love interacting with patients. I love hands on nursing. I even love floor nursing, although I don't imagine I will love floor nursing forever. But I don't know, maybe I will. The ADA seems like a lot to chew off, and I still feel like a new nurse. I would also be new to mental health. Other than my rotation and a brief time I was a sub teacher in a special needs facility, I actually have very little experience with mental health- especially mental health nursing. 

I just don't really know what to think about all this. Anyone with any insight? 

I mean ADN not ADA... apologies


Specializes in Have done it all!. Has 34 years experience.

Good for you to think about this. Always go with gut extinct! I think you are right about wanting more experience and if you love patient care, maybe tell HR,”thank you for the opportunity but I’d like more on the floor experience first”. You can alway revisit is another time and this positions come up rather frequently. JMHO. 🙂 Stay safe and whatever you decide, good luck!🙏🏼


Orca, ASN, RN

Specializes in Corrections, psychiatry, rehab, LTC. Has 26 years experience.

I wouldn't take a supervisory job in an area that I have little or no nursing experience in, and I have been at this for over 25 years, in management for more than half of that. You are wise to think this through.

One possibility, and perhaps one reason that they are willing to overlook your inexperience as a nurse, may be that the job is a total bear and they can't keep it filled. The could be due to the general duties, or maybe the DON uses it as a dumping spot for undesirable chores.

Something seems a bit off about this. I have done a lot of nursing interviews for both medical and mental health nurses, and not once have I ever said to any applicant that we would like to consider them for a position above the level of the one that they have applied for.

Edited by Orca


Specializes in Long term care. Has 2 years experience.

I didn't end up getting the position, and it is currently vacant. Who knows what that was about? I agree. Super weird. 

SummerGarden, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr. Has 13 years experience.

3 hours ago, Grande_latte04 said:

I didn't end up getting the position, and it is currently vacant. Who knows what that was about? I agree. Super weird. 

Interesting....   If you ever find out, let us know. 🙂  I was thinking like the others that you were being set up to fail. 

My other theory is that they need more than one person to interview and wanted to document having interviewed you, especially if they have someone else in mind.  If the position is still open, they may have been turned down by likely more qualified people.  People with experience know a train wreck of a position when they see one...

If this position is a hot mess (it likely is).. consider it a blessing that they turned you down!  I had a managerial position a few years ago I would have been very happy to have received a rejection letter or email or phone call after the interview!