What is a Nursing Home Administrator?
Nursing homes in the U.S. are structured facilities that provide basic and intensive care to people in need. These facilities are subject to certain government regulations concerning the quality of care provided to patients, the types of treatments available and initiated and the number of clients served by each facility.
Within these facilities, there are numerous healthcare professionals at work. Nursing professionals, doctors and even physical therapy professionals may assist in providing care to patients within nursing homes, which can mean well-rounded care for those residing in them.
Nursing home administrators within this setting may provide supervision to all aspects of nursing home care. Although it includes a lot of diverse job responsibilities, it can be a fruitful career that can make a difference in care quality within nursing facilities.
Nursing Administrator Common Responsibilities
Nursing home administrators may oversee the daily activities of nursing care facilities. This career field can include a wide range of responsibilities that can affect the quality of care received by patients living or receiving care in these facilities.
The tasks required by nursing home administrators may require students to have extensive training through a relevant degree program, as well as licensure within their state. Take a look at some of the common duties of nursing home administrators below.
- Recruitment and Training of New Employees
- Organizing New Intake Interviews and Facility Tours
- Implementing Rules and Policies for Effective Treatment and Care
- Overseeing Nursing Home Finance
- Organizing Improvement Plans
- Managing Nursing Home Staff
Although this list is quite extensive, it is definitely not considered exhaustive. Different types of nursing homes can exhibit the need for diverse leadership skills and tasks for administrators in these positions.
The duties that you can be responsible for may include those that are specific to different sectors of nursing home facilities, meeting with CEOs or other leadership professionals to brainstorm ideas for improvement and even working with the public to market and introduce aspects of your facility. In order to be an effective professional within this career field, applicants should be able to manage time and money effectively, have the ability to mulitask and have insight into current nursing home trends and policies.
How do I become a Nursing Home Administrator?
After reviewing the list of responsibilities of the nursing home administrator, you may feel like this is a career field you could succeed in. This very specific aspect of healthcare administration may require that you have some experience working in the healthcare field, as well as a reputable college degree from a university.
This type of experience and education can help you to provide better service to the clients within your facility as well as the employees working under you in nursing homes. In order to learn more about what may be required for you to become a member of this exclusive field, read more below.
Obtain a Relevant College Degree
The first step in becoming a nursing home administrator is to obtain a college degree. You can begin at the bachelor’s level or even move forward into a master’s program if you wish to be competitive with others in the same field. The type of degree you choose to pursue can also play a role in the types of careers you can apply for. Most students seeking this type of career choose to pursue a degree in Healthcare Administrator or Healthcare Services. There are also options available in the business realm of education, such as the MBA – Healthcare Administration.
In order to achieve leadership positions within nursing homes, you should have some experience working in the field of healthcare and preferably in the nursing home setting. Depending on where you submit your applications, the work experience requirement may be very different. Using the standard amount of work experience set forth by some employers, you should seek to achieve a minimum of 5 years of work experience in the healthcare field before applying for higher-tier positions in leadership.
The last important step on your journey to becoming a nursing home administrator is obtaining the proper licensure. Each state may have varying requirements for licensure within this field, but generally you may be required to successfully pass a state licensing exam prior to receiving your license. After becoming licensed, you may also have to complete continuing education credits throughout the course of your career.
Programs to Consider
If you are convinced that becoming a nursing home administrator is the right choice for you, the next step may be deciding which college to enroll in. There are many different types of degree programs you can choose from to become a candidate for nursing home administrator jobs, so you should decide which degree program fits your needs as a learning student.
Check out the list below to see some available programs that could set you on track for success.
The University of West Florida
The University of West Florida currently offers a Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration for students interested in pursuing leadership positions in the field of healthcare. This program may take up to 4 years to complete for most students, since this level of degree may require students to complete around 2 years worth of general education courses. Some of the healthcare-related courses within this program may include Legal Fundamentals of Healthcare and Public Health, Medical Terminology and Strategic Planning in Healthcare.
Colorado State University
If you are seeking out a convenient option for your education, consider Colorado University’s online Master’s in Healthcare Administration. This program can help you to develop skills necessary for managing a large team of healthcare professionals in a busy medical setting. Some of the course work focuses on the ethics and policies that drive healthcare facilities, while other parts cover the quality of care received by patients in the clinical setting and methods to increase this quality.
Example Bachelor’s in Nursing Home Administration Coursework
The healthcare field is full of many different topics of consideration. If you want to be the best leadership professional you can be, you should consider taking on degree programs that include a vast array of subjects and courses within.
Our team of educational experts has reviewed some relevant degree programs offered by universities all over the country in order to provide you with a little insight into the courses provided at each.
The topics found at different schools touch on nursing home practice, efficiency, employee management and ethics surrounding nursing home care. The courses below are actual courses pulled from universities offering degree programs in healthcare administration.
Quality and Performance Improvement in Healthcare
As a leadership professional in nursing homes, you may be responsible for ensuring that practice and care are at their highest quality. This course can help you prepare for monitoring the quality of care within nursing home facilities, addressing quality issues that may arise throughout your experience and effective planning that make a difference in healthcare practices within your facility. This course may provide some insight into how to confront quality issues professionally, as well as making timely changes to prevent negative occurrences from happening.
Healthcare Information Systems
Entering into the field of nursing home care can lead to many different challenges for healthcare professionals. One of these challenges may be learning new and complex healthcare information systems, which can vary depending on the facility you are employed with. This course can help students learn the basics of healthcare information systems so that they can tackle any new system with more knowledge. Some of the skills taught within this course can help students gain the ability to troubleshoot and even edit programs within their facilities.
On top of great quality care, nursing home administrators must also consider the business-related aspects of their organization as the years progress. Within this course, students can take part in studies that can help shape their mind into productive and analytical business professionals. Some of the topics of this course may include strategic thinking, organizational analysis, and competitive strategy and development.
What Type of Earnings to Expect as a Nursing Home Administrator
The healthcare field may be an excellent place to call home for dedicated professionals willing to go the extra mile in patient care. In nursing home facilities, administrators can be the force that creates equality in the workplace, great care for patients and growth for their organization as a whole.
This type of responsibility can be very trying for professionals in this position, but can present enough rewards to make the career worthwhile. If you are considering this field and wish to know more about the average earnings of other professionals in the same position, read more below. The figures provided are actual national averages for professionals within each field.
- Nursing and Residential Facilities – Managers: $82,950 on average per year (BLS).
- Administrative Managers: $94,020 on average per year (BLS).
Alternative Educational Paths to Becoming a Nursing Home Administrator
As you can see, there are several different methods for obtaining this type of career for your future. The flexibility to create your own method of entry into this career field may be one of the reasons why this career field has gain such popularity over the years.
While the healthcare administration degree program may be the most preferred for upcoming students, there are different options to consider when making your decision about what type of degree to pursue.
Another degree field of interest for future nursing home administrators is business. Within this type of degree program, students can learn the basics of general business practice, financial management and marketing all within one area.
Most business degree programs, especially at the master’s level, can include a specialization in healthcare administration. This type of specialization implements ideas and information specific to the field of healthcare, which could greatly benefit students entering into this career field.
Nurses interested in pursuing greater endeavors throughout their career can also pursue degree programs to assist them with achieving their goal. There are programs that focus on nursing at the master’s level that can include nursing home specialties or those in healthcare administration.
If you are currently a registered and licensed nurse looking for better opportunities for your career, there are nursing-specific routes you can take to find your place within nursing home administration.