AAPACN is dedicated to supporting post-acute care nurses provide quality care.

Nurse Leader Fundamentals

Nurse Leader Fundamentals:

On-Demand Workshop and Tools Package

Members: $375 |  Non-members: $750
Continuing Education: 5.0 CE hours
Duration: Six modules, between 45 and 60 minutes each
Speakers: Denise Winzeler, BSN, RN, LNHA, DNS-MT, QCP-MT, and Alexis Roam, MSN, RN-BC, DNS-CT, QCP

Building a Strong Foundation for New Nurse Leaders

Serving as a director of nursing services (DNS) in a post-acute care nursing facility is both rewarding and extremely challenging. If you are new to the DNS position, new to post-acute care, or want to move into a DNS role in the future, the Nurse Leader Fundamentals program will provide you with training and tools to help you succeed! In this self-paced, six-module virtual workshop, you’ll gain foundational knowledge to help you navigate the DNS position more effectively. This education program also provides tools to assist with time management, regulatory compliance, staffing, and more.

New DNS feeling confident in her role

Program Curriculum and Format

Watch this short message from AAPACN Curriculum Development Specialist, Denise Winzeler, to learn more about Nurse Leader Fundamentals.

Nurse Leader Fundamentals is offered as a six-module on-demand workshop, which also includes 23 tools to assist with responsibilities specific to the DNS role. There is no exam or certification associated with this program. It is intended to provide knowledge and tools needed to perform the DNS job duties skillfully and with confidence.

Learners will:

Module: The Role and Responsibilities of the DNS in LTPAC

  • Understand the role of the DNS
  • Establish the connection between the DNS’s management and leadership responsibilities
  • Outline and plan the primary tasks associated with the responsibilities of the DNS’s role


Module: Clinical Excellence

  • Review federal law – bills that have been passed by both houses of congress and signed by the president
  • Understand regulations – the codification of laws, developed by a government agency that is given the authority to regulate certain activities
  • Examine the State Operations Manual (SOM), which contains regulations, certification processes, Appendix PP, and more


Module: Overview of the Regulatory and Survey Process

  • Locate the CMS regulatory documents and resources that govern Medicare and Medicaid facility licensing
  • Review the federal survey process
  • Understand the nurse leader’s role to prepare for, participate in, and respond to the annual survey process


Module: Leading Clinical Improvement

  • Review the role of the DNS related to quality
  • Understand the relationships between the medical record, the MDS, and the Quality Measures
  • Identify key clinical data utilized to monitor performance
  • Utilize clinical data to drive improvement


Module: Basic Staffing and Human Resources Management

  • Know the steps in the hiring and onboarding process
  • Learn ways to improve employee retention and decrease turnover
  • Understand required training and competencies
  • Review the key elements of staffing a nursing facility (PPD, budget, and acuity)


Module: Overview of Business Operations of the Nursing Department

  • Compare the different payment models that affect nursing department function (Medicare, Medicaid, alternative payment organizations)
  • Review the DNS’s role in overseeing the Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) process, specifically the Minimum Data Set (MDS) component
  • Comprehend basic budgeting, strategic planning, and fiduciary requirements of the DNS

Denise Winzeler and Alexis Roam have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

The six-module on-demand workshop and tools are packaged together in the Nurse Leader Fundamentals program bundle. The following nurse leader tools may also be purchased individually:

  • Organizational Toolkit for the Director of Nursing Services
  • Staffing Tool
  • CNA and Licensed Nurse Competency Checklists

View detailed descriptions of the Nurse Leader Fundamentals tools.

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