How to Become a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator

If you are interested in this, “How do I become a nursing home administrator?” Here are all the answers you need.

Are you interested in pursuing a career in health care administration? There are all kinds of jobs in healthcare you might find interesting.

Nursing Home Administrator Education, Skills, Requirements

While that is true, our main focus here is on one such career: nursing home administrator. You’re probably reading this because you want to find out how to achieve your objective.

If so, this article provides a comprehensive breakdown of how to become a nursing home administrator.

The information provided includes what nursing home administrators do, educational paths to follow, earning a license, and earning continuing education credits, among others.

What other healthcare administration careers are there?

Aside from becoming a nursing home administrator, you might be interested in several other healthcare administration careers.

Examples include administrative specialists, clinic administrators, administrative assistants, insurance specialists, and dental office managers.

More careers include medical records manager, hospital manager, training manager, facilities manager, operations manager, and healthcare manager.

There are still others like the business development manager, human resources manager, nurse manager, program manager, hospital CEO, nursing home administrator, etc.

Responsibilities of Nursing Home Administrators

Nursing home administrators handle all kinds of administrative functions.

Examples include preparing budgets and allocating funds, maintaining a positive working relationship with regulatory agencies, and ensuring the facility complies with local, state, and federal regulations.

Nursing home administrators also develop short- and long-term goals, prepare reports, and participate in special projects.

Their responsibilities also include meeting hospital directors to support transitional care unit operations. Nursing home administrators handle these and other roles.

Becoming a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator – Education & Training

Our discussion to this point seeks to provide an overview of the discussed topic. This section will consider the “how” of becoming a nursing home administrator.

First, you need to ask if this is the right career. Next, proceed to get the required education or training.

What more? Gaining relevant experience should be the next step. This should be followed by licensing and certifications.

With all of these processes carefully followed, you can proceed to earn continuing education credits. Let’s discuss each of these points for more clarity.

i. Am I Suited for this?

Not everyone finds a particular field of study fascinating. This may be due to certain personality traits that may not align with being a nursing home administrator.

For example, you’ll need to ask yourself specific questions: Are you a people person? Do you have a passion for healthcare admin jobs?

If your answer to these questions is affirmative, then proceeding with study or training might be personally rewarding.

ii. Education for Nursing Home Administrators

Educational requirements for being a nursing home administrator vary across different states.

While some states accept a high school diploma, others might ask for an associate’s degree. For other states, a bachelor’s degree will be the minimum requirement.

An administrator-in-training program might be required to enroll for training. In a nutshell, asides from a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, internship training is also necessary.

You’ll be required to sit for a licensing exam offered by the National Association of Long-Term Care Administration Board.

  • What the bachelor’s degree Includes

You can enroll in various degrees for your nursing home career.

Examples include health sciences, long-term care administration, business administration, health management, and health service administration.

This program covers marketing & communications in healthcare, public policy and healthcare, and human resources management.

More courses include public health, healthcare financing, and accounting, healthcare economics, and healthcare ethics and law.

  • You can Proceed to Earn a Master’s.

It’s important to state that earning a masters degree in Healthcare Admin isn’t a prerequisite for becoming a nursing home operator. However, getting one adds to your level of competitiveness.

Different master’s programs you may find attractive include a master of business administration (healthcare administration).

Others include a master’s of health administration and a master’s of business administration in executive health. Each covers different courses, including statistics, healthcare finance, population health, and accounting.

Others include healthcare policy, leadership, organizational behavior, etc.

  • Earning a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration (DHA)

Some nursing home administrators go on to earn a doctorate in healthcare administration. These tend to boost your chances of landing your dream job.

iii. Gain Relevant Experience

Part of becoming a nursing home administrator includes gaining relevant experience. Such an experience can be achieved in several ways.

One of those includes taking a teaching role as a professor while studying for your doctorate. The experience earned makes future employment as a nursing home administrator more probable.

iv. Get Licensed and Certified

Licensing is another crucial part of becoming a nursing home administrator. While licensing is needed, such conditions might vary from one state to the next.

In other words, each state may have its unique requirements.

The National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards, which is state-governed, issues multiple licensing types for nursing home administrators.

You’ll have to sit for all three exams and pass them to get licensed.

These include the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), Nursing Home Administrator (NHA) License, and the Residential Care Assisted Living (RC/AL) License.

Similar to licenses issued to nursing home administrators are professional certifications. However, these aren’t compulsory but will help in highlighting your expertise, thus making you stand out effortlessly.

These certifications include the Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM) and the American College of Healthcare Executives Fellowship (FACHE).

More certifications include Certified Healthcare Administrative Professional (AHCAP) and Certified Medical Manager (CCM) certifications.

v. Earn Continuing Education Credits

Lastly, continuing education credits will need to be earned. The National Continuing Education Review Service (NCERS) reviews and approves continuing education providers.

Why is this relevant? Without earning education credits, nursing home administrators won’t be able to renew their licenses through the steps above.

Your dream of becoming a nursing home administrator only requires implementation. We’ve seen the different ways this can be achieved.

You’ll need to pay attention to your state’s requirements, as each state tends to have its licensing guidelines.