Director of nursing (DON) tenure is often a question of debate, with some believing that there is rapid turnover among DONs. A survey of university and university-affiliated hospitals was conducted to assess turnover among DONs and the reasons they leave their positions. Over a 10-year period, hospitals averaged 2.5 DONs per hospital. The majority of hospitals (57%) had one to two DONs and 19% had four or more DONs during this 10-year period. Fifty percent of the current DONs have been in their positions for 5 or more years. Termination and requested resignation were cited most frequently as the reasons past DONs left their positions (40%). In spite of the high termination rate, both DONs and chief executive officers (CEOs) feel that they work effectively together.
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