New to the DON world!

Specialties LTC Directors


I have accepted the DON position at a small LTC facility. In my career I've gone up the ladder so to speak from CNA, MA, LPN, RN, BSN (roughly 16 years of experience between them all & have worked in LTC, hospital, ER, OB, cardiac rehab, specialty clinic, med surg floor) - currently working in a clinic setting and running a cardiac rehab program. I do have 3 years of experience being the director at an assisted living (which was way less involved then this will be, I know that starting out). I know there will be hurdles to jump and barriers to break through, especially in the world we are living in today. When I was asked about my interest in the position I was hesitant at first, but I'm excited about the new experience...and will have lots of questions!! 

I have been able to get into the office one day a week the last 2 weeks and will get one more day in the office to go through files and information that was left behind - before starting officially. I feel like I have a supportive administrator who is willing to go the extra mile to help me when he's able. 

I will have no training with the previous DON as her last day was last week and my first day will be in about 2 weeks. I've read quite a few threads about people dreading their position as DON or wanting out or leaving because things got to be too bad...How would you have changed things to make it better? How many of you are still in your DON position and plan to stay in the position? 

What advice would you give this newbie? 

Thanks in advance!! 





4 Posts

Specializes in Long term care.

I am accepting a DON position and wanted to know how it’s going.

Specializes in ER, ICU, PACU, Corrections, cardiac.

I, too, recently started as a new DNS at a small (67 bed) facility. I have 40 years of nursing experience in multiple areas (critical care, corrections, substance abuse, youth shelter, LTC). I was an ADON for 4 years at an 116 bed facility interim DON when the regular one went FMLA for 4 months, 2 years in a row. I feel I did a great job, my staff all respected me because I am fair and helped where I could. This facility is going to be 200% different. Younger population, a lot of behaviors. I am excited and looking forward to any advice. 

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