Assistant Director of Nursing (ADON)

Do you have RN license and years of experience? Then you can advance your career as assistant director of nursing in various agencies. Here is assistant director of nursing (ADON) job descriptions and salary.

$51,787 - $88,063
AVG    Annual    SALARY
$4,315 - $7,338
AVG    Monthly    SALARY
$22.45 - $39.93
AVG    Hourly    SALARY

Assistant Director of Nursing (ADON) Salary And Job Description

ADON or the Assistant Director of Nursing is the second highest in command after the Director of Nursing in any nursing department. They work very closely with the Director of Nursing for the improvement of the efficiency of the working team and to raise the quality of service and care provided to the patients. In the absence of the Director of Nursing, the ADONs are responsible for overseeing the entire team and maintaining the quality of customer service as per rules and regulations laid down at the local, state or federal level. They also have to comply with the policies set down by the employer.

The most common areas of employment for the Assistant Director of Nursing are hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers and other similar healthcare facilities. The common tasks assigned to the Assistant Director of Nursing Include administrative roles such as staff selection and training, preparation of schedules and budgets for the department.

Despite being an administrator, the Assistant Director of Nursing also takes a direct part in the patient care from time to time. This is because, in order to monitor the staff working under him/her, it is important that the ADONs go on rounds together with the nurses. Due to this, they mostly stay standing or walking the entire day. However, a major part of the ADON’s work is done in the office environments. They are required to make direct reporting to the Director of Nursing regarding the functioning of their team. Apart from the Director of Nursing, the ADONs are also required closely with other hospital administrators and the medical director.

Assistant Director Of Nursing Duties

The daily role of a director of nursing can vary from one place to the other depending on the employer. However, they have a heavy involvement in the staff selection and training process. This is inclusive of the nursing staff, the certified nursing assistants as well as the nurse’s aides. More than often, they have an upper hand in the planning and implementation of work schedules for the healthcare facility. They also directly supervise the working staff and monitor activities such as the blood draws, distribution of medicines and various other aspects of patient care. Being a Nurse Manager, it is also their responsibility to ensure that sufficient find is available for running the facility and stocking up on the inventories and supplies. They are also responsible for the development of accreditation and licensing reports and plan and plan/implement the training seminars for the staff.

The basic Adon responsibilities are to ensure a smooth functioning of the facility at all times. It is their job to enhance the efficiency of the nursing staff working under them. This is done through the development of optimal care plane, evaluation of the different systems followed during the treatment, planning rotations for the staff and to make sure that each and every patient is receiving the required amount of attention. Many times, they tend to have the same role as that of a Director of Nursing. This includes hiring new staff, developing training plans, calling staff meetings and evaluating the employees. It is also mandatory for them to make a minimum of two supervisory rounds in a day.

Duties And Responsibilities Of Assistant Director

  • Managing the clinical operations overlooked by the department of nursing
  • Developing care plans to ensure optimal services to the patients
  • Decide upon the workload to be assigned to each one of the working staff
  • Prepare a daily schedule for the facility
  • Plan the shifts and rotations for all the nursing staff
  • Give supervision to the staff concerning their daily duties
  • Make sure that everyone working in the facility is sticking to the given rules and regulations
  • Identify and suggest corrections in the working system
  • Offer help with the budget planning as well as the management of expenditures
  • Analyze and implement the recommendation for audit
  • Look after the recruitment of new staff
  • Evaluate the overall performance of the entire nursing staff and to make recommendations for correction and improvement
  • Ensure the satisfaction of the patients
  • Address the complaints made by the patients
  • See if all the staff are performing their respective duties in the right manner and at the right time
  • Offer training to the working staff and hold educative programs from time to time to ensure that all the staff stay updated
  • Call regular staff meetings
  • To discuss about the current issues, recommendations and updates
  • Make sure that everything is done in accordance with the local, federal and state standards
  • Plan for the optimal utilization of resources
  • Analyze the staff and patient data and make interventions if required

During the instances when the Director of Nursing is absent, the ADON is required to take responsibility for the entire nursing unit under the concerned wing in the healthcare facility. The roles may vary depending on the ownership, size and the organizational structure followed by the healthcare facility. However, the common responsibilities include

  • Supervision
    They are to take the leadership of the concerned unit. They are required to monitor the staff and ensure that discipline prevails during the work hours. This is done by providing constant feedback to the different staff in the nursing unit stating the necessary changes for improving efficiency and productivity.
  • Administration
    The nursing departments are entirely responsible for a careful handling of all the records, including the medical history of the patients, different undertaking made in the different nursing departments and documentation of the care plan. The ADON should ensure that all these information is handled with care and may undertake the filing duties.
  • Regulations
    The ADONs are highly expert individuals in their specific area of health care. Therefore, it is their duty to ensure that both the acute and the long-term care plans are the best for patient care. They should keep a check on both the procedures that are to be followed and the procedures that are to be avoided. They ensure that the system complies with the regulations mainly by conducting patient interviews, making mock surveys, assessing the administrative records and more.

Assistant Director Of Nursing Qualifications

Like every other nurse, the Assistant Director of Nursing too should be a registered nurse. This can be done by taking up a course for either one of Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Associate Degree in Nursing or any other diploma programs. After the completion of the above courses from state-approved institutions, the nurses are held eligible to appear for the NCLEX – RN or the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. Upon passing this exam, they receive the certification as registered nurses. Additional licensing may also be required depending on the state.

It is considered sufficient to have an associate’s degree in nursing in order to prepare for the NCLEX. However, of the candidates are expected to advance to the designation of a Director of Nursing in the coming years, it is highly advisable to at least have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Many employers also prefer to Director of Nursing with a master’s degree in healthcare administration, nursing or nursing administration. This is also because these higher courses are aimed at developing traits such as critical thinking, effective communication, and leadership roles, all of which are fundamental for an employee in the administrative category. Interested candidates may also go for a dual degree in health services administration and nursing for a better scope of career advancement.

Assistant Director Of Nursing Salary

The salary of an Assistant Director of Nursing can vary depending on factors such as city, experience, employer, education, and skills. However, geographic location of the area of employment can have a major influence on the overall pay scale. According to the surveys conducted so far, it is seen that the profession of an Assistant Director of Nursing is greatly outnumbered by women. Furthermore, the nurses working in this field have a very high level of job satisfaction. Currently, the average salary for an Assistant Director of Nursing is estimated to be around $67,220 per year and the annual salary is bound to vary between $51,816 and $87,777 per year. The surveys have also revealed everyone in four nurses working in this field not receives any extra benefits. However, all the ADONs are likely to have dental and medical coverage.1To be exact, the salary for Assistant Director of Nursing can vary between $51,599 and $87,417.2 Depending on the area of employment and the employer, they may either receive no bonus or a maximum bonus of $5,019. They can either have no share in the profit or a yearly share of about $4,438. Therefore, the total pay for the ADONs is likely to vary between $50,157 and $86,631.3 The Bureau of Labor Statistics has also stated that the Assistant Director of Nursing can expect an increase in the employment opportunities by about 17% by the year 2024.

What is the Average Hourly Nursing Home ADON Salary?

Currently, the median hourly wage of an Assistant Director of Nursing is $31.34 per hour. This is inclusive of the ADONs working in all the different industries of all sizes and across all parts of the United States. This figure is very recent and has just been released on the 04th of Jan, 2021. The hourly wages are likely to vary between $22.37 and $39.79 depending on several aspects.4 The calculations are based on the data collected by the team of Certified Compensation Professionals and involve an analysis of a large number of industries of all sizes that offer employment to nurses bearing the title of Assistant Director of Nursing.

Pay By Employer

It is no wonder that the salary of an Assistant Director of Nursing can vary drastically depending on the employer. For example, Genesis Health Care, Golden Living Centers, Life Care Centers of America, Brookdale, and HCR ManorCare, all have been top employers for the Assistant Director of Nursing. However, out of all these, the Genesis HealthCare offers a median salary of $74,457 which the highest out of all the above mentioned.

However, there is a certain fixed trend that is seen in the salaries of the ADONs. For example, there are very few employees with salaries greater than $60,000 and the increment ultimately stops at $87,000, beyond which there is no scope for a salary increase. The average salaries for the Assistant Director of Nursing at Life Care Centers of America, Golden Living Centers and Signature Health Care are $71,000, $66,000, and $72,000 respectively. Employees at HCR Manor Care and Nursing Home Group tend to have below average salaries of $63,000 and $58,000. 5

Salary Increments With Career Advancements

If the Assistant Director of Nursing moves up to the designation of a Director of Nursing, they are likely to have an average annual salary of $80,000. They may also take up the role of a Long Term Care Nursing Director. In both cases, the nurses are likely to receive an increment of about $8,000 to $10,000 over their previous salaries. 6

Pay By Experience

The amount of experience is another one of the important factors deciding the salaries of an Assistant Director of Nursing. There seems to be a positive trend in the salary experience for the ADONs. Assistant Director of Nursing, who is in the starting phase of their career and have experience of fewer than 5 years are likely to receive a total compensation of $64,829 on a yearly basis. The total compensation is inclusive of all the extra income in addition to the basic salary. The extras could include overtime pay, bonus, and tips, all of which can make a huge difference to the overall income made in a year.

Nurses who are in the mid-stage of their career, with an experience of 5 to 10 years may receive an annual compensation of $66,631. The assistant director of nursing who has an experience of 10 to 20 years is likely to have an average compensation of $69,474 while a highly experienced nurse who has been working in the field for more than 20 years may have an average annual compensation as high as $70,936.7

Highest ADON Salary Paying States:
Illinois $73,464
New York $97,743
Texas $71,893
Lowest ADON Salary Paying States:
Ohio $61,225
San Antonio $62,903

Source: Payscale

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