A DNS in nursing homes ensures the success of the nursing home facility by leading clinical care and services. Directors of nursing services oversee and manage the quality of nursing care offered by the facility and have a direct role to play in ensuring resident comfort and satisfaction. 

The Role of a DNS

There are several roles that a DNS will play in a nursing home, all of which involve maintaining a safe nursing home facility that meets all federal and state regulations. These regulations are set forth in the Nurse Practice Act and Resident Bill of Rights, which is established at the state level. 

In addition to overseeing quality assurance and nursing department operations, the DNS is responsible for planning and organizing all shifts and nursing staff. They also ensure compliance with records related to managed care guidelines, narcotic medication administration and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

Skills Necessary In the Role of a DNS

The director of nursing services for a nursing home must be able to manage people successfully. This includes the direct care provided by the staff, as well as the programming required to keep residents engaged and happy. Therefore, a DNS should be a compassionate communicator who earns the respect of both residents and staff. They should be able to make choices related to recruitment, hiring, firing and organizing teams. 

Since the DNS is also responsible for ensuring doctors’ orders are followed, they must work with other directors to provide the necessary programs and training to establish a qualified staff for resident care. This includes training for infection control and managing patient well-being. The DNS will also need to liaise with doctors and perform resident assessments based on a plan created by all members of the care team. They will then be responsible for ensuring the plan is followed and all members of the team are contacted if a problem occurs.