To the Editor:
I am writing in regard to the article, "Needs of Nurse Administrators in LTC," which appeared in your March 1993 issue.
I am currently a nursing administrator at a longterm care facility, and have been so for nine years. I have an associate degree in nursing and am currently treasurer of the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration/ LTC. As a DON (director of nursing), I feel this article is focusing on the wrong area.
Since many DONs come "up through the ranks" at their facilities to fill a "needed position," a second thought is rarely given to training them for the responsibilities that have been "inflicted" upon them. Administrators may see an outstanding supervisor or head nurse and promote mat person when the DON vacancy occurs, without providing the proper inservicing needed.
Many DONs would love to attend education within or outside their facilities, but are not given time to do so - this is the basic reason for high turnover rate. Administrators must give the DON time off to attend workshops and educational programs that prepare them for the regulatory process, surveys, staff support, family concerns, and relieving stress.
DONs at local levels also need to become active in their DON associations. Meeting with other DONs as a "mentoring" process gives DONs the added support that they may not receive in the facility.
Don't blame the DON(NA) turnover rate on the level of nursing education. Many more factors are involved.