Ways To Become a Nursing Home Administrator

Becoming a nursing home administrator involves specific educational and career steps that could take years to accomplish. It can be rewarding, but not everyone is up to the challenge. If you have ever wanted to become a nursing home administrator or are considering career options in the long-term care industry, some things factor in. 

What is a Nursing Home Administrator?

Nursing home administrators or NHAs are primarily responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of nursing homes and nursing care establishments. Additionally, they may work in assisted living, residential care, adult daycare facilities, and retirement homes.

Expertise in clinical and administrative tasks places NHAs in various roles. These may include overseeing patient care and coordinating with insurers to protect nursing home liability.

Most NHAs spend much time ensuring the facility’s compliance with state and federal regulations. Also, it places them in the crucial role of securing funding from state and federal agencies. It then allows them the opportunity to obtain insurance benefits from private and national organizations.

Should Nursing Home Administrators be RNs?

Many NHAs are certified a nurses or physicians. This career background makes them ideally suited for the clinical aspects of managing a long-term care facility.

But nursing home administrators are not always registered nurses. Some proceed directly to a degree course in healthcare administration after completing general coursework in a non-medical field of study. They need a healthcare administration degree to work as an NHA. 

NHA Roles and Responsibilities

Nursing home administrators are primarily responsible for all a long-term care facility’s clinical and administrative functions. Most don’t have subordinates that perform essential administrative tasks, although they may work with nurse managers and financial directors in larger organizations.

Nursing Home Duties

Nursing home administrators typically perform the following duties.

  1. Obtain medical equipment
  2. Recruit new caregivers
  3. Manage nursing home staff
  4. Establish patient care standards for compliance with state and federal laws and regulations
  5. Monitor the facility’s finances

Many nursing home administrators report directly to the board of directors and manage the resident’s schedules and activities.

The Educational Path for NHAs

Aspiring nursing home administrators typically begin their careers by obtaining a nursing or healthcare administration degree or a degree in a related educational field. Here are the specific steps to becoming a nursing home administrator:

Complete nursing school education

It is an optional step as nursing home administrators don’t necessarily have to start as nurses. Those who opt for this educational path may earn Associate’s or Bachelor’s degrees in nursing from accredited institutions. After completing this step, they could take the NCLEX-RN and start working as interns.

Many established NHAs recommend that aspiring administrators focus more on gerontology and long-term care than general hospital work. Working as a bedside nurse is usually better suited for other fields in the nursing profession. Consequently, they could improve themselves by gaining experience in long-term care settings and working closely with nursing home patients.

Get a degree in Healthcare Administration

Nursing home administrators typically are not always licensed RNs. However, a degree in healthcare administration is a must for aspiring candidates. Even after earning their degrees and certifications, RNs will still have to get their degree in healthcare administration. Those who’ve opted not to take up nursing can work toward their degree straightaway.

Get a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration

A Master’s Degree in Health Administration (MHA) opens many more employment and career advancement opportunities. Such positions often require applicants to perform a wide range of administrative functions. Additionally, these may include planning and proposing budgets, overseeing compliance with federal regulations, and managing long-term care facility personnel.

A Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration also enables candidates to learn essential job-related skills. Likewise, some of these are interviewing applicants and ensuring optimal staffing composition.

Having a professional and general liability plan in place helps nursing home administrators as they progress throughout their careers. Also, it is one thing that can protect them from liability as they seek to flourish and thrive.

About Midwest Insurance Group

Midwest Insurance Group is a risk retention group developed by Caitlin Morgan Insurance Services in response to the unique needs of the healthcare industry, particularly that of senior living facilities. With rising premium costs and difficulties in obtaining coverage from the traditional professional and general liability insurance market, Midwest Insurance Group represents a viable, long-term insurance alternative for the senior living sector, giving members complete control over costs and claims management. Midwest Insurance Group is reinsured with Lloyd’s of London, and A rated by Demotech.


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