Degreed DONs found to be more valuable

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Nursing homes with highly educated, certified directors of nursing have better outcomes on some key quality measures, according to recent findings.

Better pain management and reduced catheter use were linked to nursing homes that had DONs with certification and at least a bachelor's degree. But the positive effects were not seen across the board: Increased DON education also was associated with higher pressure ulcer rates.

Still, results published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies suggest increasing education and certification requirements for administrators and DONs.

Investigators affiliated with the University of Maryland School of Nursing and the Red Cross College of Nursing at Chung-Ang University in South Korea gleaned education and certification information from the National Nursing Home Survey, which involved more than 1,100 facilities. They drew on Nursing Home Compare data for quality outcomes.

Prior research has shown that nursing homes with more credentialed leaders tend to have fewer survey deficiencies. The Institute of Medicine is also studying the effect of credentialing on nurse, patient and facility outcomes.