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What are the Requirements to Becoming a Nursing Director?

Requirements of Becoming a Nursing Director Overview

One of the things that are happening within nursing is most titles are being created; additionally, some titles or job roles are either being re-modified, re-defined or re-structured. This is being necessitated by a number of trends within the nursing industry, not the least of which is the increasing need for specialization. Director of nursing is one such “specialization.”

In the old days, most licensed nurses were simply RNs; supervisors came from the ranks of nurses and did not necessarily hold any special certifications or titles. These days, many RNs also hold special certifications. If they want to move up the career ladder, there are a number of different titles and roles they can vie for.

One of the roles nurses can move up to is nurse manager. This is a lower-level administrative position that also includes floor duties. Nurses who do well in this capacity and who have the business skills, communication and leadership qualities needed may then move into executive roles. Two top roles are Chief Nursing Officer and Director of Nursing (DON).

Chief Nursing Officers have been compared to CEO of companies. They are one of the higher roles nurses can vie for. Such a person may, in fact, be in charge of a healthcare facility, answering only to the senior healthcare setting administrator, if there is one.

A Director of Nursing (DON), on the other hand, usually works in long-term care facilities. He or she is the top of the executive ladder when it comes to all nursing matters, answerable only to top administrators and, to some extent, doctors.

In most states, a Director of Nursing is licensed in that field. They usually have, at minimum, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), several years of RN floor duty experience, a current RN license (of course), and often have to take on-going training and classes, as well as tests.

In addition to these, Nursing Directors have to meet the following criteria or requirements:

•Nursing Directors have to be top-level communicators. They have to keep the lines of communication open between doctors, patients, families of patients, healthcare providers (in addition to nurses), government officials, etc.

•Nursing Directors have to have excellent leadership skills. This job is not for shy people or for people who are good at following, but not leading. This requires, among other things, an extremely detailed knowledge of the ins and outs of nursing, as well as the latest trends and developments in the profession and in nursing science.

•Ideally, Nursing Directors have a graduate degree (masters or doctorate) in nursing and often an additional degree in business administration or healthcare administration.

•Some DONs may also have certifications in areas of special importance to the facility over which they preside.

•Nursing Directors usually come from the ranks of nurse managers — in other words, rarely does an RN get promoted to a DON. There is an expectation that, at the very least, a DON was a unit supervisor for a number of years before being elevated to DON.

•Nursing Directors are licensed by a special organization.

•Nursing Directors manage not just nurses, but healthcare – providing support people, as well as non-healthcare staff.

•Nursing Directors help set up strategies and policies; they are also consulted in regards to laws and nursing board changes.

•Nursing Directors may be legally held responsible for events and occurrences in facilities where they work; this means that they need to have a good knowledge of policies and legal requirements across the board.

•Nursing Directors need to be good at managing stress.

Nursing Scholarships

American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) American Cancer Society Doctoral Degree Scholarships in Cancer Nursing Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship
The Gates Millenium Scholars (GMS) National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA)
New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Nurse Corps Scholarship (NCS) Nurses of Tomorrow
Nursing Economics Foundation Tylenol Future Care Scholarship American Holistic Nurses Association

Fortis Institute

Fortis Nursing Program

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  • Associate Degree in Nursing
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Liberty University

We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing: Nurse Educator
  • BS in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Grand Canyon University

There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!

Programs:

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
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Colorado Technical University Online

Specialized, industry-current degree programs in Health Administration Services, Healthcare Management and Nursing.

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
  • Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Education

Kaplan University

Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.

Programs:

  • MS in Nursing
  • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
  • Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner
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Regent University

Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

EducationConnection

Medical Assisting, Nursing, Health Sciences Degree Programs and More From Top Colleges that Fit Your Needs.

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Medical Careers Institute

Start a great career in healthcare with Medical Careers Institute.

 

What Are You Waiting For?

Programs:

  • Nursing (RN-BSN) - Bachelor's
  • Nursing - Master's

Kaplan University

WELCOME TO KAPLAN UNIVERSITY

Online Education That Fits Your Life

For 80 years, we’ve been preparing students for career success. We’ve led the wayso that our students can too.

Programs:

  • MS in Nursing
  • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
  • Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner
  • And more...

Centura College

Centura College, with campus locations in Virginia, South Carolina and Florida.

Programs:

  • Practical Nursing Diploma
  • Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Medical Assisting-Clinical Concentration

South University

As a student at South University, you will have the opportunity to learn from accomplished faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects that they teach. Our small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from instructors, and the encouragement to recognize your goals for the future and the means to achieve them.

Programs:

  • Nursing (BS)

Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University is a national leader in Christian higher education and a place where students, faculty, staff and alumni make a real difference in the world.

Programs:

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Northcentral University

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

Programs:

  • Doctor of Education - Nursing Education

Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences

Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

Programs:

  • MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
  • RN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner

Jacksonville University

The University

With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

Programs:

  • MSN Clinical Nurse Educator
  • RN to BSN (licensed RNs only)
  • RN to MSN in Clinical Nurse Educator
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Denver School of Nursing

At Denver College of Nursing, we believe good nurses are the future of quality healthcare.

Programs:

  • Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

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