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Director who doesn't direct

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by Bohica8286 Bohica8286, RN (New Member) New Member Nurse

Bohica8286 has 20 years experience as a RN and works as a RN.

71 Visitors; 4 Posts

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Coming here because I don't know what to do or where to turn. My DON, has the title of DON but that is where most of her job ends. She avoids conflict at all costs, has had nurses written up on multiple occasions for serious reasons and has never addressed the issues. Some issues are borderline nursing negligence, and she still does not address them. Things that are required as part of her job, she does not do. If it weren't for the nurse managers, I don't know what would happen. They seem to be the ones holding the ship together while the rest of us watch the captain play on her cellphone. 

Is she ultimately responsible for the nursing staff under her direction? Could her license be at risk if she knowingly ignores potentially serious nursing incompetence? Is my license at risk because I also know about this incompetence, and know that she ignores it?

Any advice or guidance is appreciated. Any articles of reference related to similar situations would be helpful also.

Thanks in advance!

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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN and works as a Asst Community Manager @ allnurses.

15 Followers; 134 Articles; 186,477 Visitors; 20,708 Posts

What kind of facility do you work in? Hospital, LTC, rehab? 

 

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Bohica8286 has 20 years experience as a RN and works as a RN.

71 Visitors; 4 Posts

3 hours ago, traumaRUs said:

What kind of facility do you work in? Hospital, LTC, rehab? 

 

LTC

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KrysyRN has 28 years experience.

3,903 Visitors; 231 Posts

On 4/2/2019 at 1:06 AM, Bohica8286 said:

Is she ultimately responsible for the nursing staff under her direction? Could her license be at risk if she knowingly ignores potentially serious nursing incompetence? Is my license at risk because I also know about this incompetence, and know that she ignores it?

She is responsible for the nursing staff but 'ultimately responsible' may depend on circumstances surrounding an infraction. I would also imagine her license is at serious risk if she's ignoring staff incompetence. I'm not sure if your license is at risk, especially if you've written incident reports.  I'd recommend submitting your questions to the nurse attorney on this site (in the Career section) to see if she has answers for you.  

Anecdotally, I worked with a nurse in the 90s that was viewed as so incompetent that some of my colleagues contacted the BON and reported her. The BON investigated but staff nurses were not informed of the outcome. She was reported a second time, and shortly after, she moved on to greener pastures.

 

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4,832 Visitors; 306 Posts

For one, I just want to point out that disciplinary action is seldom made a matter of public record, so you should be a little hesitant to assume no action was taken just because you didn't hear about any.

That said, let's assume your DON is genuinely terrible at her job. Is her license at risk? Not really, best I can tell. Bad administrators sometimes get fired but seldom have action taken against them.

Is your license at risk? Not especially either. You're responsible for your own care and not that of others. However, a bad working environment puts you at a little more risk, and a bad DON can make for a bad working environment eventually. 

Are your patients at risk? Maybe. If you see examples of negligence, indifference, malice, etc that truly are unacceptable, you can report a person or facility yourself. However, I encourage you to take reasonable measures to fix poor practice and other work issues within your place of work before going to an authority. A lot of times, nurses see something bad happening and get upset waiting in vain for the people who are supposed to fix it to come along amd make it better... and what they don't realise is that those people who are supposed to fix it is all of us. 

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN.

11 Followers; 65 Articles; 169,461 Visitors; 13,873 Posts

On 4/2/2019 at 12:06 AM, Bohica8286 said:

Coming here because I don't know what to do or where to turn. My DON, has the title of DON but that is where most of her job ends. She avoids conflict at all costs, has had nurses written up on multiple occasions for serious reasons and has never addressed the issues. Some issues are borderline nursing negligence, and she still does not address them. Things that are required as part of her job, she does not do. If it weren't for the nurse managers, I don't know what would happen. They seem to be the ones holding the ship together while the rest of us watch the captain play on her cellphone. 

Is she ultimately responsible for the nursing staff under her direction? Could her license be at risk if she knowingly ignores potentially serious nursing incompetence? Is my license at risk because I also know about this incompetence, and know that she ignores it?

Any advice or guidance is appreciated. Any articles of reference related to similar situations would be helpful also.

Thanks in advance!

Discipline is confidential -- just because you don't see your DON doing anything about doesn't mean that nothing is being done.  Perhaps the issues are being addressed behind the scenes and you don't know about it.  

Your DON is ultimately responsible for your facility, but I doubt that her license is at risk.  Her job, however, may be.  As far as your license -- you are responsible for *you* and not for the other nurses at your facility.  If your care is appropriate and you have reported incidents appropriately, you aren't at risk.  You don't KNOW that your DON is ignoring incompetence because, again, you aren't privy to disciplinary action.  Hope this helps.

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Bohica8286 has 20 years experience as a RN and works as a RN.

71 Visitors; 4 Posts

On 4/12/2019 at 11:51 AM, Ruby Vee said:

Discipline is confidential -- just because you don't see your DON doing anything about doesn't mean that nothing is being done.  Perhaps the issues are being addressed behind the scenes and you don't know about it.  

Your DON is ultimately responsible for your facility, but I doubt that her license is at risk.  Her job, however, may be.  As far as your license -- you are responsible for *you* and not for the other nurses at your facility.  If your care is appropriate and you have reported incidents appropriately, you aren't at risk.  You don't KNOW that your DON is ignoring incompetence because, again, you aren't privy to disciplinary action.  Hope this helps.

I am part of a group of 4 nurses, including the DON who make up the "leadership" team. I am privy to disciplinary action and I know it is not happening. I know when it has happened, and I know myself and others who have written up people for issues, and I know for a fact those things have not been addressed beyond the initial "write up". Oftentimes the employee does not even know they have been written up because nothing moves on to the next step, which the DON is supposed to take. That is what is so frustrating. I am privy to things, and I know what should be done and what isn't getting done. I just want to make sure if anything serious comes from any of this poor nursing practice in the future, that I am not somehow liable because I KNOW that NOTHING is being done to address the issue or prevent it from happening again. 

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