Becoming a Nursing Home Administrator

Nursing home administrator smiling with group of residents

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Nursing Home Administrators are in demand. Here is what you need to know to become a nursing home administrator.

The nursing home administrator is a leader in the organization who not only directs its operations but in a large part is responsible for setting the tone of the culture.

Reporting Responsibilities

The Administrator can report to various sources, a board of commissioners, a board of directors, private owners, a system vice president.

Reporting to the administrator could be the following:

  • Quality Assurance
  • Staff Development
  • Environmental Services
  • Food Services
  • Nursing
  • Social Services
  • Activities
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • an Executive Secretary

Scope of Responsibilities

The Nursing Home Administrator must ensure the care and services provided meet the satisfaction of the residents, their families and physicians, and all state, federal, and local regulations and laws.

The Administrator develops and implements nursing home policies and procedures.

The administrator must balance an annual budget and strive to maintain a high occupancy rate.

The administrator is the primary liaison for the nursing home with residents, their families, and the general public.

The administrator is responsible for a fire and safety program and oversees capital improvements. The Administrator has ultimate responsibility for operations.

Licensure Requirements

An incumbent must be licensed as a Nursing Home Administrator in the State and have extensive experience in administration of a long-term care facility; considerable knowledge of Federal and State licensure requirements for nursing home operations, and respect for the principles of resident rights, confidentiality, EEO, and ADA. See more below.

Salary Guide

A nursing home administrator salary averages about $70,000 per year, but can range as high as $90,000 to $100,000 annually. The median expected salary for a typical Nursing Home Administrator in the United States is $89,932. Income varies, depending on:

  • Credentials
  • Location
  • Type of facility
  • Years of experience

Education and Training

Most nursing home administrators are required to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited college or university.

To prepare for a nursing home administrator employment, studies include a variety of subjects including:

  • Accounting
  • Healthcare
  • Human resources
  • Legal issues
  • Management

All 50 states require a nursing home administrator license. Only the Board of Examiners can grant licensure. Requirements vary from state to state.

When applying for a nursing home administrator position, previous experience in healthcare, human resources, management, and medical technology are looked upon favorably. Examples of relevant work experience include:

  • Management position in a health-related environment
  • Nursing home employment, such as accounting or customer service positions
  • Sales and marketing jobs in a residential care facility
  • Volunteer work in a nursing home

Career Advancement

Advancement opportunities for nursing home administrators include:

  • Consulting
  • More senior positions, such as a supervisor of other nursing home administrators in a large system
  • Specialization in areas of interest, such as Alzheimer's patients or hospice
  • A variety of increased responsibilities, such as counseling different clients
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