Nursing Home Administrator Code of Ethics

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The American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) released an updated Code of Ethics for long-term care professionals as part of its commitment to promoting excellence in long-term care leadership.

On April 5, 2014, the ACHCA Board of Directors approved revisions to define expectations of the ACHCA Code of Ethics for long-term care administrators. Enhancements include discrimination language reflective of current federal requirements and addresses personal conduct as an administrator, beyond professional responsibilities.​

According to President and CEO of ACHCA, Marianna Kern Grachek, MSN, CNHA, CALA, FACHCA, the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) has adopted the ACHCA Code of Ethics as a resource for state boards and agencies that license long-term care administrators. The ACHCA Code of Ethics is posted on the About ACHCA section of the website.

There are four expectations listed in the Code.

  1. Individuals shall hold paramount the welfare of persons for whom care is provided.
  2. Individuals shall maintain high standards of professional competence and personal conduct.
  3. Individuals shall strive, in all matters relating to their professional functions, to maintain a professional posture that places paramount the interests of the facility and its residents.
  4. Individuals shall honor their responsibilities to the public, their profession, and their relationships with colleagues and members of related professions.

The 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. Now more than ever, true leaders are needed in this area of healthcare. Find out the career ladder for success in this position.

The Administrator can report to various sources. If an entity of a County, the relationship could be to a board of commissioners. A not-for-profit may have a board of directors. A private stand-alone facility may have owners who the administrator reports to and for facilities that are part of a system, the administrator could report to a system vice president.

Reporting to the administrator, depending on the size of the organization, could be the following directors:

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

The Nursing Home Administrator directs the provision of skilled, intermediate and rehabilitation care on a 24-hour basis and ensures a smooth, high quality and professionally acceptable operation. The incumbent 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 to comply with Federal, State, and Local requirements and to fulfill licensure certification standards.

The incumbent hires, monitors and directs the activities of several direct reports to this position in the implementation of these policies and procedures. This position continuously analyzes departmental operations, evaluates the environment and equipment necessary for effective functioning and implements any necessary procedural change.

Administrator Exam Ethics Reality Check

The National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) is composed of state boards or agencies responsible for licensing long-term care administrators. The basic objective of the Association is to assist these boards and agencies in carrying out their responsibilities in the licensure and re-licensure of long-term care administrators. One of NAB'S functions is the development of the national nursing home administrator examination.​​​

All NAB examinations are constructed to meet the test specifications in effect for the NHA examination program. These test specifications are based on the results of a job analysis study which is updated every few years.

The primary objective of the NHA examination program is to protect the public by ensuring that candidates for licensure demonstrate competence in content areas that are relevant to practice as an entry-level nursing home administrator. NAB and PES institute a number of review procedures to ensure that the NHA test contains items that are relevant to practice and are critical to assessing the competence of a nursing home administrator at entry level.

The examination covers five subject areas listed below.

  1. Resident Centered Care
  2. Human Resources(13%)
  3. Finance (13%)
  4. Environment (15%)
  5. Leadership & Management (21%)

Founded in 1962, the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) is the only professional association devoted solely to meeting the professional needs of today's long-term care administrators and executives. Focusing on advancing leadership excellence, ACHCA provides professional education and certification to administrators from across the spectrum of long-term care.

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