In the absence of the Director of Nursing, the Assistant Director of Nursing Services is responsible for the operation of a nursing unit, wing or entire health care facility, depending on the organizational structure. The responsibilities of an Assistant Director of Nursing Services vary according to organizational structure, size and ownership.
The Assistant Director of Nursing Services provides leadership and supervision to the nursing department. Under the direction of the Director of Nursing Services, the Assistant Director of Nursing Services monitors nursing activity, communicates change, conducts performance evaluations and disciplines staff as needed. An important component of supervision is to consistently provide feedback to staff. This will help ensure that staff comprehends necessary changes to maintain the operations of the nursing department.
Nursing departments require the effective handling of patient information, including medical, history and care-plan documentation. The Assistant Director of Nursing Services ensures the proper handling of personal health information in an effort to remain compliant with the Health Insurance Privacy and Portability Act. Although the Assistant Director of Nursing Services may seek the assistance of administrative duties such as filing, she is ultimately responsible for the accurate adherence of administrative compliance.
An Assistant Director of Nursing Services is an expert with health care regulations specific to her area of expertise, such as long-term care or acute care. The Assistant Director of Nursing Services will ensure regulatory compliance by conducting mock surveys, interviewing patients and randomly assessing medical administration records. Regulatory compliance includes understanding health care rules and regulations at the local, state and federal levels.
Despite the trend that administrative nurses, such as an Assistant Director of Nursing Services, spend the majority of their time completing administrative tasks, they are still responsible to provide patient care as needed. An Assistant Director of Nursing Services who is able to provide direct care to a patient displays a willingness to help others and a level of practical nursing skills. In the absence of other nurses or nursing assistants, the Assistant Director of Nursing Services is required to assist with patient care.
Although the position does not require a bachelor’s or master’s degree, an Assistant Director of Nursing Services must be a registered nurse. Licensure as a RN requires training at a higher education institution, such as a local community college. Once the training is completed and licensure as a RN is obtained, you are qualified to become an Assistant Director of Nursing Services. Additional training and occupational requirements are learned on the job in the specific health care environment.
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