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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

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

South University

Several nursing programs are available at the bachelor's, post-graduate, master's, and doctoral levels.

Programs:

  • Nursing (BS)

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
  • And more...

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
  • And more...

Kaplan University - KHE

At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs.

Programs:

  • MS in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing : Executive Leader
  • Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate
  • And more...

West Coast University

Advance your career. 100% Focused on Health Sciences.

Programs:

  • MSN - Informatics (Online)
  • MSN – Advanced Generalist (Online)
  • RN to MSN - Advanced Generalist (Online)
  • And more...

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)

Northcentral University

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

Programs:

  • Doctor of Education - Nursing Education

Wilkes University

Wilkes University’s School of Nursing offers CCNE-accredited online degrees and certificate programs ideal for working health care professionals, instructed by experienced, respected faculty dedicated to mentoring and personalized support for every student.

Programs:

  • RN to MS - Nursing Informatics
  • M.S. with Major in Nursing - Nursing Informatics
  • DNP - Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • And more...

Bradley University

Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning.

Programs:

  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Leadership Track (MSN to DNP)
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing (BSN to MSN-FNP)
  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner Track (BSN to DNP)
  • And more...

Medical Careers Institute

Start a great career in healthcare with Medical Careers Institute.

Programs:

  • Nursing (RN-BSN) - Bachelor's
  • Nursing (RN) - Associate's
  • Practical Nursing - Diploma
  • And more...

Fortis Institute

At Fortis Institute, you may get the skills and training you need to prepare for a career.

* Programs vary by location

* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information


Programs:

  • Associate Degree in Nursing
  • Practical Nursing
  • Medical Assisting

Everest College

Leave that dead-end job behind with training from Everest College.

Programs:

  • Diploma - Medical Assistant

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