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Director of Nursing (“DON”)

St. Joseph, MO | Full Time

Job Description


Position Summary: Assumes the overall responsibility for managing the Nursing Department to ensure that the day-to-day operations and long-term goals deliver the highest quality care and service. Responsible for establishing the standards of care, policies and practices that observe residential care best practices and comply with all state and federal regulations and guidelines. Performs the duties of Assistant Director of Nursing (“ADON”) in ADON’s absence or if the ADON position does not exist in the facility.

Essential Functions

  • Directs, supervises and advises department staff in nursing best practices and care quality.
  • Completes daily rounds to supervise employees and communicates with residents, families, caregivers, staff, doctors and others.
  • Ensures on call RN coverage 24/7; schedules adequate staff within the Nursing Department and makes routine adjustments to work schedules to ensure coverage on all shifts.
  • Ensures that a nurse is available to complete rounds with attending physicians.
  • Communicates all admission needs to nursing staff prior to admissions. Example: Referral report.
  • Ensures all necessary information is obtained to ensure a positive admission experience for the resident and family.
  • Contributes necessary assessment and resident information to ensure a quality Care Plan for each resident upon admission, and collaborates with other interdisciplinary team members to identify any changes that need to be made to the Care Plan on an ongoing basis.
  • Ensures that the nursing staff follows the direction of the Care Plan and all physician orders.
  • Participates in practices that attract and retain the best human talent.
  • Manages the departmental human resources function including daily staffing requirements, resolving performance issues including terminations, employee orientation on all new hires, documenting employee personnel files, and managing overtime.
  • Effectively delegates work tasks to department staff.
  • Provides training and leadership by example in protecting the confidential nature of resident information and adherence to resident rights.
  • Sets procedures to ensure the necessary and required training and education of all departmental staff on a regular basis and as required by federal, state and local laws and standards.
  • Works with the Administrator in developing department budget and provides financial management throughout the year. Brings all budget issues immediately to the attention of the Administrator.
  • Reviews referrals regarding clinical needs and completes cost sheet.
  • Makes hospital visits as needed to evaluate resident needs before admission.
  • Ensures all doctors’ orders are signed; completes random audits of all orders and records to ensure accuracy and compliance.
  • Completes routine chart audits of all clinical documentation and systems to ensure compliance, as directed by corporate policy and procedures.
  • Ensures compliance with federal, state, local and company health, safety, and sanitation laws, regulations and standards, including Standard Precautions and Infection Control Guidelines.
  • Communicates with Central Supply regarding the monitoring and handling of bio-hazard waste.
  • Accountable for the resident medication program including the accurate delivery of medications by staff; performs routine medication audits and med room inspections.
  • Monitors the tracking and disposal of controlled medications.
  • Works flexible and uncertain work hours to operate a 365/24/7 department including early mornings, evenings, weekends, and holidays, as needed; works with all department employees by rotating through all shifts.
  • Sees that investigations are conducted by an RN and Administrator is informed regarding all reported incidents, injuries, complaints about care, allegations of abuse/neglect or misappropriation of funds; assigned RN gathers and documents all necessary information, findings and conclusions within appropriate files required by the DHSS; alerts Administrator reports findings to Administrator.
  • Coordinates with all outside consultants to ensure their recommendations have been documented, signed and implemented as appropriate.
  • Verifies completion of (and not accuracy of) and signs MDS forms when a RN is not available in the MDS Department.
  • Provides oversight of corporate and facility nursing policies and procedures and ensures they are implemented and reviewed routinely. Implements new policies, procedures and/or processes as directed by the Administrator or corporate staff.
  • Administers employee drug testing process as needed for entire facility; effectively delegates drug testing administration to nursing leadership when needed.
  • Ensures compliance with facility’s various nursing programs such as wounds, weight, infection control, and pain management.
  • Appoints committee members as necessary and provides oversight to individual committees.
  • Actively participates in all required meetings including Medicare, IDT, QA and QAPI including presenting and submitting reports as required.
  • Attends all required in-services as directed by the Administrator.
  • Timely response and follow through on all communications.
  • Follows all company policies and procedures.
  • Complies with the company’s employee safety prevention and accident reporting program.
  • Participates in conducting fire drills and other safety drills. ? Ensures compliance with Medicare and Medicaid, including residents’ rights and protections under the law.
  • Cooperates and problem-solves with other departments and staff, residents, vendors, and others to support overall team and corporate goals.
  • Maintains comprehensive knowledge of nursing best practices.
  • Dresses in a professional and sanitary manner which could be fresh scrubs.
  • This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee. Other duties, responsibilities and activities may change or be assigned at any time with or without notice.

NOTE: Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.



  • Must hold a current Registered Nurse license in the State of Missouri.
  • Graduate of an Accredited School of Nursing.
  • Experience as a Registered Nurse with progression into management roles.
  • Minimum of 2 years working in a living facility offering skilled care, rehabilitation services, assisted living and/or residential care.
  • Must have current CPR certification.
  • Dedicated interest in assisting a senior population.
  • Experience in developing and implementing individualized care plans.
  • Understanding of standard assessment tools for use in evaluating resident status.
  • Understanding of human resources function, the value of diversity in the workforce, and compliance with laws surrounding the employer-employee relationship.
  • Reads, writes, speaks, and understands the English language.
  • Empathic communication skills including focused listening and providing feedback.
  • Patience and acceptance of constant change in own work environment.
  • Self-directed organizational skills that enhance the ability to manage numerous priorities.
  • Proficiency with software programs including Microsoft Office Suite and data-driven applications.
  • Proven success in participating within and leading a team structure.
  • History of ethical conduct.
  • Ability and willingness to work in a deadline-driven position with flexibility to work additional hours as needed to meet individual, team, and department goals.

Preferred Education or Experience

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. They include:

  • Regularly required to sit, stand, use hands to finger, feel, handle controls, talk, walk, hear, reach out and up with hands and arms, stoop and kneel.
  • May stand or sit for long periods of time.
  • Requires physical contact with residents, some of whom may become physically combative.
  • Must be able to assist in lifting, moving and maneuvering patients from place to place.
  • Must be able to easily lift, carry, and otherwise move at least 50 pounds.
  • Must be able to tolerate changing temperatures when moving inside and outside the facility.

Work Environment

The work environment is a professional healthcare environment. Employees could be exposed to:

  • Noise levels range from moderate to loud.
  • Contagious or infectious diseases.
  • Dermatitis from frequent hand-washing.
  • Needle stick injury.
  • Bio-hazardous waste.
  • Chemicals used for cleaning and sanitizing; fumes and odors.
  • While performing administrative duties, the work environment includes standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets and fax machines.


  • Travel by automobile to required meetings and conferences.

Skills for Director of Nursing (“DON”)

The job skills required for Director of Nursing (“DON”) include Leadership, Responsibility, CPR, Infection control, Assisted Living,and Medicaid etc. Having related job skills and expertise will give you an advantage when applying to be a Director of Nursing (“DON”). That makes you unique and can impact how much salary you can get paid. Below are job openings related to skills required by Director of Nursing (“DON”). Select any job title you are interested in and start to search job requirements.

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Career Path for Director of Nursing (“DON”)

The following is the career advancement route for Director of Nursing (“DON”) positions, which can be used as a reference in future career path planning. As a Director of Nursing (“DON”), it can be promoted into senior positions as a Head of Nursing that are expected to handle more key tasks, people in this role will get a higher salary paid than an ordinary Director of Nursing (“DON”). You can explore the career advancement for a Director of Nursing (“DON”) below and select your interested title to get hiring information.