How to Become an Administrator at a Nursing Home

To become a nursing home administrator an individual must complete several steps culminating in state licensure. In nearly every state, nursing home administrators are required to hold a bachelor's degree in Nursing Administration or a similar degree and have relevant work experience in order to be licensed by the state.

Graduate from High School

A high school diploma or its equivalent is generally required to pursue postsecondary studies. Although some schools and programs admit students who have not completed high school, most degree programs relevant to nursing home administration require students to have high school diplomas at minimum. Taking additional courses in business and the sciences while in high school may serve as preparation for nursing home administration programs.

Earn a Bachelor's Degree

While many majors exist for individuals interested in managing nursing homes, a bachelor's degree in nursing adminstration is consistently the most recognized for licensure by the state. Other majors that may satisfy licensure prerequisites include: health services, long-term care, health sciences and public health.

Gain Work Experience

Relevant work experience is also a requirement for nursing home administration licensure. States require applicants to either have completed relevant work experience at a healthcare facility or to complete an approved internship program. For example, New York requires an applicant to either have completed a board approved internship or have work experience as a director of nursing services or as a department head in a healthcare facility.

Obtain a License

All U.S. states and the District of Columbia require nursing home administrators to be licensed. While licensure requirements vary by state, requirements for licensure typically include: earning a bachelors degree in Nursing Administration or a similar program from a board accredited instituion , completion of a board-approved internship or relevant work experience as a healthcare facility director or department head, satisfactory scores on a national examination, and satisfactory scores on a state examination.

Earn a Master's Degree

While not technically necessary for licensure, individuals are encouraged to pursure advanced degrees in nursing administration. This may open new opportunities for nursing home administrators, improve an individuals annual income and may qualify them for more advanced positions in the future.

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