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What is a Director of Nursing?

A director of nursing (DON) is a registered nurse who supervises the care of all the patients at a health care facility. The director of nursing is the senior nursing management position in an organization and often holds executive titles like Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Chief Nurse Executive, or Vice-President of Nursing. They typically report to the CEO or COO.

The American Organization of Nurse Executives is a professional association for directors of nursing.

Training and Education

Graduate Nursing Education

Advanced education in nursing is done at the master's and doctoral levels. It prepares the graduate for specialization as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) or for advanced roles in leadership, management, or education. Areas of advanced nursing practice include that of a nurse practitioner (NP), a certified nurse midwife  (CNM), a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), or a clinical nurse specialist (CNS). Nurse practitioners work assessing, diagnosing and treating patients in fields as diverse as family practice, women's health care,  emergency nursing,  acute/critical care, psychiatry, geriatrics or pediatrics while a CNS usually works for a facility to improve patient care, do research, or as a staff educator. The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) is an advanced generalist who focuses on the improvement of quality and safety outcomes for patients or patient populations from an administrative and staff management focus. Doctoral programs in nursing prepare the student for work in nursing education, health care administration, clinical research, or advanced clinical practice. Most programs confer the PhD in nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

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Bachelor of Science in Nursing

To obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a four-year degree prepares nurses for graduate-level education. For the first two years in a BSN program, students usually obtain general education requirements and spend the remaining time in nursing courses. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees have many courses which stretches out the degree-acquiring process to over 4 years. Advocates for the ADN and diploma programs state that such programs have a on the job training approach to educating students, while the BSN is an academic degree that emphasizes research and nursing theory. However the BSN graduate has both more classroom and clinical hours of study in nursing than the ADN graduate. The BSN graduate is professionally degreed; and as such is called a professional nurse. However, some states require a specific amount of clinical experience that is the same for both BSN and ADN students. Nursing schools may or may not be accredited by either the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).  Wikipaedia.org

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