Ask the nursing expert: taking control back from the nursing aides, and implementing a restorative nursing progam

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Ask the nursing expert
Ask the nursing expert
In my new position as director of nursing, I have discovered that, because of constant DON turnover, the nursing aides think that they run the building! How do I prove myself?

Unfortunately, in our industry some buildings have a hard time keeping a DON and the aides lose confidence in management. They want and need a strong and credible leader.

Meet with your nursing leadership team and discuss previous “issues” in the department. Spend some time thinking about your goals for the department and expectations from your staff.

Schedule staff meetings on all three shifts and share with staff your goals and expectations. Acknowledge their commitment to the residents in the facility and that you will need their help to help the nursing department run as smoothly as possible.

An open-door policy is always welcoming to staff. Be very visible and let them see your commitment.

My facility does not have a good restorative nursing program and I would like to implement one. How would you suggest I get started?

Sometimes the rehab department will have a program within the company, so ask them about it. If they do not, go online and check for “restorative nursing programs.”

You must buy in from the top. Start with your administrator and then, during a management team meeting, talk about improvements that you would like to make with your restorative program.

Look hard for a coach for the program. Meet with your nursing leadership and solicit their support. The rest is step-by-step implementation according to the information you receive.