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Assistant Director of Nursing

We are now inviting applications for the role of Assistant Director of Nursing in Athy, Co. Kildare.

Qualification Requirements:                 

  • First level registration
  • Registered on appropriate part of Irish live register
  • Evidence of continuous Professional Development
  • Previous management experience                        

Position Overview:

The post of Assistant Director of Nursing (ADON) is a senior clinical position which reports to the Director of Nursing. The role will be responsible for providing clinical leadership, managing the day to day clinical practices in the home, appropriate staff rostering, delegation and supervision, performance and development, clinical governance and assessment of risks. The ADON will work collaboratively with the DON and Healthcare Manager as part of the senior management team in the Nursing Home, providing clear communication and direction and deputising for the DON as required. The position reports to the Director of Nursing / Person in Charge.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Clinical Practice;

To ensure the delivery of the highest standards of nursing and social care which meet the individual needs of each resident by:

  • Ensuring that the home policies and expected clinical standards are read, understood and practiced at all times. 
  • Conducting ward rounds (including those with GP) to ensure that the best clinical outcomes are achieved on a continuous basis.
  • Reviewing nursing documentation to ensure this reflects the care and treatment required by each individual resident and that assessments and care plans are completed appropriately within agreed timeframes and reviewed as required.
  • Reviewing residents at increased risk of pressure sores, falls and other adverse events, and those who are clinically unwell, providing advice, support and assistance through clinical practices and documentation so as to ensure appropriate management plan is in place.
  • Participate in handover and help troubleshoot any ongoing clinical issues and non-clinical issues, escalating to the Director of Nursing as appropriate.
  • Ensuring medication practices are carried out according to An Bord Altranais guidelines and as per recommended practice in the nursing home, and liaising with GPs and pharmacy with regards to medication reviews and audit. Ensuring that all nursing staff are deemed competent in all aspects of medication management, and that their practice is safe. Ensuring that education on medication management practices is provided to all newly appointed staff as part of their induction and that they fully understand all aspects of practice related to prescribing, administration and documentation of medications, including electronic prescriptions.
  • Undertaking regular MAMS Medicines audits in the nursing home and ensuring effective feedback and action plans are undertaken and reviewed.

Staff Supervision & Education;

  • Supporting the CNMs in the nursing home and provide direction, mentorship and regular communication.
  • Ensuring a strong focus is placed on working alongside the CNMs, staff nurses and carers in the nursing home, maintain a visible presence in the clinical areas. Monitor practice in relation to care practices and give constructive feedback. Establish a team dynamic in the home and ensure that the team works cohesively in planning, implementing and reviewing improvements to care and practice.
  • Carrying out regular Performance Appraisals and education & professional development objectives with CNMs, Staff Nurses and Care Assistants. All CNM appraisals to be performed in conjunction with the DON.
  • Training, education, development and induction of nursing and care staff are fundamental to the role.
  • Assessing education needs and implementing in house training, such as infection control, palliative and end of life care, understanding challenging behaviour, elder abuse.
  • Participating in regular communication with staff and helping to develop a team ethos within the nursing home.
  • Participating in staff interviews and reviews as appropriate.
  • Producing the roster; in this aspect, collaboration and effective communication with DON is vital. Monitoring usage of temporary or agency staff, ensuring this is kept to a minimum. Understanding the agreed staffing levels and maintaining compliance with these.


  • Clinical audits. Regularly review residents’ documentation, ensuring appropriate and timely assessments, care planning and implementation of care is documented and reviewed.
  • In addition to observing practice, the ADON also monitors standards of cleanliness and hygiene, and fosters an effective working relationship and good communication between nurses, carers, housekeeping and catering staff.
  • Responsible for ensuring environmental and hand hygiene audits are carried out regularly and thoroughly, and that action plans are implemented and sustained.
  • Responsible for carrying out medication audits, health & safety audits, risk assessments and drawing up risk management plans in conjunction with DON.
  • Responsible for auditing EpicCare, and for addressing any issues in relation to documentation – in association with CNMs, staff nurses and carers (Touch screen).

Residents/Relatives – Person Centred;

  • Interacting with and supporting residents and families on a daily basis. The ADON is a key point of contact for all relatives and visitors in conjunction with the DON.
  • Ensuring that complaints are swiftly dealt with at the point of contact and if not, are escalated for resolution at DON level. Ensuring that complaints are appropriately documented and followed up as required.
  • Assisting and liaising with the multidisciplinary team, relatives and families.

Management and communication;

  • The ADON, reporting to the DON is responsible for the day to day clinical practices in the home. This post will also be responsible for the home in the absence of the DON.
  • Open, honest and clear communication is required at all times when reporting to senior management, direct reports and all staff.
  • The ADON role is part of the senior management team in the home and as such is responsible for ensuring that the care delivered is consistently of a high quality, and that those delivering the direct care to residents are appropriately skilled, competent, caring and conscientious.
  • The ADON is the team leader of the staff who provide the hands-on care to our residents, and is a role model of excellent nursing care and practice, who leads by example.
  • The ADON will be regularly engaged in supervising staff, monitoring drug rounds, dealing with clinical issues, working with staff and obtaining crucial information on the day to day issues. By doing this the ADON can observe staff compliance with clinical standards, communication skills with residents and general working practices.

Daily Activities;

  • Checking staff rosters and getting cover for absences.
  • Must be a good communicator but it is vital to the smooth running of any home that staff, residents and relatives see this skill in the ADON.
  • Daily: attend handovers and review progress of residents.
  • The main focus is in supporting and developing clinical practice, so the ADON will be hands-on with nurses and carers in the delivery of care. The benefit of having this supportive role on a daily basis cannot be overstated and leads to a more confident and competent staff group.
  • Implement Company Health and Safety Policy to safeguard the safety and welfare of staff, residents and others

Skills and Attributes required:

  • Excellent Leadership, Organisational and Communication skills
  • Ability to collaborate effectively within a senior management team
  • Sound decision making ability
  • Ability to motivate self and others and work on own initiative
  • Ability to work well and promote a team environment
  • Appreciation of finance issues
  • Results driven

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