Ask the nursing expert: some encouraging words for directors of nursing

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Ask the nursing expert
Ask the nursing expert
I have been a DON in a large facility now for one and a half years and I recently experienced my second survey, including the preparation, survey, plan of correction, and then what I call “The Aftermath.” Do you have any encouraging words on why I should continue doing this?

Anyone who has spent any time in the shoes of a director of nursing understands your question.

I get calls on almost a daily basis from headhunters looking for DONs to fill empty positions, desperately looking for qualified candidates. Saying it is a tough position in a stressful, ever-changing environment is putting it mildly.

You need a strong and supporting nursing department, as well as an administrator and corporate structure that works with you and understands the additional daily ups and downs that come with managing staff, residents and their families.

My advice:

• Know which projects to hold onto and which ones you can delegate. Meet each morning with your clinical team to review 24-hour events and determine the follow-up and goals that need to be accomplished for the day.

• Get back together briefly in the afternoon to discuss progress and new issues that have surfaced.

• Keep your chin up, keep yourself healthy, get some rest, and lead your staff with all the clinical enthusiasm you can muster.