I’ve worked with my fair share of Directors of Nursing. Each DON has their own unique style – some focus on clinical processes and paperwork and avoid patient care. Other DONs prefer to be with the residents and staff all the time, leaving reports and QA for other managers. Some prefer to let the Administrator set policy, and others prefer to do it all themselves. Many DONs have been in long term care longer than I’ve been alive – for others this is their first try at managing a nursing home. A lot of DONs are experts in certain areas but green in others. I’ve worked with some great nurses, but I’ve also seen a lot of extremes.
You are a wonderful blend of talents. You get super involved without going it alone. You’ve gone out and experienced a wide array of nursing jobs and bring great insight to the team. You’re well spoken, know how to use the computer, and you have great repoir with residents and employees. You’re direct and concise, yet thorough and considerate. You have immense clinical knowledge and use it as a tool rather than a weapon. You have fun with the team, but know when to get serious. You lead by example in terms of work ethic, personal conduct, professionalism, and integrity. You understand not just the job of the DON but also the job of the Administrator. You do whatever it takes to get the job done, but stand back and let people do their own work. You live up to your mistakes and learn from them.
It has taken time for me to adjust to your style, because you have higher expectations of me than any Director of Nursing ever has. It’s great to have a partner rather than an employee, and I couldn’t do it without you. Rather, we couldn’t do it without you. Your contributions of time, talent, and effort have improved our standards, improved our quality of care, and improved our employee morale. You’ve made your nurses better clinicians, your managers better leaders, and our team a more cohesive unit. I know I speak for everyone here, residents and staff alike, when I say, “Thanks for everything you do.”
They say that the best advice you can give any manager is, “Hire people better than you.”
I’ve done just that.