OAR 411-086-0020
Director of Nursing Services (DNS)


Full-Time. Each facility shall have a director of nursing services who shall be full-time (40-hours per week) in a single nursing facility. Time spent in professional association workshops, seminars and continuing education may be counted in considering whether or not the DNS is full-time.


Qualifications. The DNS shall be a registered nurse who has specific knowledge about nursing administration in a nursing facility:


The DNS shall have at least six months experience in a nursing facility, hospital, or inpatient rehabilitation facility;


Within nine months of employment the DNS shall have:


Successfully completed six credit hours in management or supervision, pertinent to long-term care, from an accredited college or university; or


A baccalaureate or master’s degree in nursing and documentation of course work which includes management or supervision.


The DNS shall successfully complete every two years at least 30 continuing education hours pertinent to nursing administration in a nursing facility.




The DNS shall have written administrative authority, responsibility, and accountability for assuring functions and activities of the nursing services department. The DNS shall participate in the development of any facility policies that affect the nursing services department (OAR 411-085-0210 (Facility Policies)). The DNS shall organize and direct the nursing service department to include as a minimum:


Develop and maintain a nursing service philosophy, objectives, standards of practice, policy and procedure manuals, and job descriptions for each level of nursing service personnel;


Develop and maintain personnel policies of recruitment, orientation, in-service education, supervision, evaluation and termination of nursing service staff;


Develop and maintain policies and procedure for determination of nursing staff’s capacity for providing nursing care for any person seeking admission to the facility;


Develop and maintain a quality assurance program for nursing services;


Coordinate nursing service departmental functions and activities with the functions and activities of other departments;


Develop nursing service department budget recommendations and participate with the facility administrator and other department directors in the allocation of funds for the facility;


Participate with the facility administrator and other department directors in development and maintenance of practices and procedures that promote infection control, fire safety, and hazard reduction;


Ensure that all medications and treatments are given promptly as ordered;


Ensure that only licensed nurses or physicians administer injectable medications;


Ensure adequate nursing services staffing (see OAR 411-086-0100 (Nursing Services: Staffing)), including development of a written staffing plan; and


Ensure that all nursing staff perform their respective duties in a timely, efficient and professional manner.


The DNS shall designate, in writing, a specific registered nurse, licensed to practice in Oregon, to be available immediately in person or by telephone to direct the functions and activities of the nursing services department when the DNS is not available in person or by telephone. This information shall be posted at each nursing station;


The DNS shall be informed regarding residents’ conditions, including when a significant change in a resident’s condition warrants nursing or medical intervention;


Effective October 1, 1990, or in the event of delay of the actual federal requirement, effective the actual implementation date, the DNS may serve as the charge nurse only if the facility has a licensed bed capacity of 60 or less and does not provide care for residents requiring skilled nursing care.

Source: Rule 411-086-0020 — Director of Nursing Services (DNS), https://secure.­sos.­state.­or.­us/oard/view.­action?ruleNumber=411-086-0020.

Last Updated

Jun. 8, 2021

Rule 411-086-0020’s source at or​.us