Published Oct 20, 2004
I have an interview tomorrow for a DON of a huge Prison and I am wondering what the pay range is for a DON with CMS and what are some of the job duties that will be required in a job like this? I currently work in the prison system but I am the Mental Health RN. I only make $40,000 a year and that's with me driving an hour to and from work everyday with only 10 hours of PTO time per month! I would appreciate any insight anyone could give me on this. I am in the Central part of the Country. Thanks. :balloons:
I don't know what kind of pay CMS pays for DON. As far as the job description, CMS may be different, but in our company, A DON is responsible for ensuring the clinic runs smoothly, staffing, dealing with staff issues, etc. The DON reports to a Health Services Administrator. The HSA is responsible for ensuring EVERYTHING in medical runs smoothly (Mental Health, Dental, Nursing, MD, etc.) as well as monthly reports & meetings, etc. As DON, I would expect you would keep track of statistical information such as how many people put in sick call slips, how many were seen, refused, sent out to specialists, etc.
I highly recommend you read NCCHC's book, Standards for Health Services in Jails (if you take this position or even if you don't). It will explain why we do the things we do on a daily basis.
As far as pay goes, I have no idea. I know what we pay for a DON in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Florida. It is less than what the HSA makes in most facilities. Remember that most DON jobs are salaried positions. Find out if you have to cover A LOT of shifts. If you do, you need to consider this.
Hope this helps. If you have other questions, PM me. I would be happy to give you any advice I can.
I'm a DON in Florida. I am in charge of all staffing issues (PAIN in the butt!), keeping stats, making sure the place runs smoothly, keeping everyone (staff, imantes AND officers happy), lots and lots of paperwork. It is a salaried position and right now I am down 2.5 LPN's so I am covering alot of shifts. I just had a full time RN quit as well, so I forsee covering shifts there too. I don't get paid to work shifts but my HSA will give me comp time. I don't get paid NEAR enough (22.50 per hour) but I am in the process of big time fighting for raises for all of the staff. Our pay scale hasn't changed since 2000!!! It's time for a major increase. I can't hire or keep staff because of this.
Good luck with your decision. I love correctional nursing. I just have to work on our staffing and salary problems and all will be good!
I work for CMS. I know that CMS is open to negotiations for salaried positions. RN's are hard to get. There is a nursing shortage. It is here to stay. I was able to get a 37% increase for my LPN's and a 27% increase for my RN's. So what do you figure that did for my salary? You bet, up it went. Go into that interview with a positive attitude and know how much you want before you go in. If CMS won't meet your demands, then someone else will. It is a nurses' world out there!
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