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Wants DON Job

Nurse Beth   (139 Views 1 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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Dear Nurse Beth, 

My background is mostly in LTC (both skilled and ALF), adult day care with elderly and mental health clients and in all my work I've been either Nurse Manager, or RN Supervisor, etc. I was also an LPN in the past and took on the position of Nurse Manager after my DON quit (at that time they offered me the DON position but I didn't take it, and returned to school for my RN and BSN education back then instead). 

That was several years ago, and now I'd really like to become a DON, preferably in ALF first, but I don't know how to get such a position. I've seen job ads but they all state RN or LPN (and I've had a couple interviews where they tell me that they prefer an LPN instead of an RN and only for financial reasons because they proceed to ask me if I'd like the position at the LPN rate).

So my questions are - How do I get in the role of a DON, how do I get started, and also how much more should I ask for as an RN vs LPN as a DON, if I'm offered the position? What sort of an increased percentage of salary can I expect (if any) as an RN DON vs LPN DON? 
Thank you.


Dear Wants DON Role,

I'm not clear on your work history as an RN, or how long you've been an RN. Both of those would speak to your negotiating power.

Your goal is to be a DON in assisted living, but if the assisted living facilities you are applying to don't require an RN DON, they are not going to hire above the requirements. Meaning there may not be a market for RN DONs in assisted living in your area.

You could accept the position on their terms to gain experience and for your resume. 

Have you considered relocating? Register on Indeed.com and search for positions that say "RN required" and not "LPN or RN".  

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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