With DONs in hot demand, providers act to broaden pipelines

Earlier this year, clinical leaders at the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, which is routinely seeing 12 to 15 vacant DON positions across 140 skilled facilities, launched a Director in Training program.

Rindels’ team also wanted to attract RNs from other healthcare settings. That’s why they designed this longer and more comprehensive program to entice a wider range of candidates.

The first directors in training will fill two pilot positions in Minnesota and Nebraska, each getting a four- to six-month training program that “exposes them to all things related to the long-term care industry,” Rindels said.

They’ll shadow clinical learning specialists for training in MDS, QAPI, mock surveying, audits and regulatory compliance. They’ll also be paired with an established DON preceptor, working side-by-side in the same building.

Advertising continues for the Directors in Training program, with the ultimate goal of having two each year in each state where Good Sam operates. For now, Rindels is focused on promoting the concept and getting prospective DONs to think differently about on-the-job learning.

“I really see this DNS in training program as one more opportunity to bring new people into the organization and really start out with those solid relationships with their co-workers and their residents,” she said.

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