Students seeking careers as nursing home administrators must typically earn a master's degree in health administration, health services management or healthcare management. Applying to these programs requires a bachelor's degree in a similar field. A master's degree might also be needed to qualify to take the licensing examinations required in some states.
Students can choose to complete both fully online or hybrid programs, which combine on campus and online coursework. The programs include internships or residencies, which must typically be completed in person; however, some residencies can be conducted online. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nursing home facility administrators are required to be licensed in every state, although requirements vary.
Nursing Home Administration Master's Degree
An online master's degree program in nursing home administration typically emphasizes healthcare organization management, financial management and leadership. Applicants are usually required to hold a bachelor's degree in a related field.
Though a Master of Science degree program in Health Administration or Healthcare Administration is most commonly offered, students can also pursue a Master of Science in Health Services Management or Healthcare Management, or a Master of Healthcare Administration. In some cases, students might choose to pursue a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management.
Information and Requirements
Several colleges offering online graduate degree programs for nursing home administrators provide them entirely online, while others might require students to attend some on-campus classes. Internships or residencies might be included in some programs. In some cases, residencies are conducted online.
Basic technical requirements for online master's degree programs in healthcare administration include a high-speed Internet connection and e-mail. As some schools might conduct virtual residencies or use webcams, high-quality sound and video cards might also be required.
The curriculum for an online master's degree program in health or healthcare administration focuses on healthcare financial management, human resource management, and health systems management. Courses might also be offered in healthcare policy, healthcare economics, healthcare laws, ethics, and health information systems. Some programs might include seminars or an administrative internship.
Introductory courses in health administration typically address leadership concepts, organizational change and administration principles. The roles and responsibilities of healthcare managers might also be discussed.
Healthcare Financial Management
Healthcare financial management courses explore techniques and methods used in the financial operation of various types of healthcare facilities. Topics covered might include accounting, budgeting and risk management.
Healthcare structures and policy are the main focus of healthcare economics courses. Topics addressed include insurance, medical resources, costs and healthcare services.
Completion of an online master's degree program in healthcare administration or a related area can qualify students to work as nursing home administrators. The BLS reports that the job growth rate for medical and health services managers was expected to be 17% between 2014 and 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations (www.bls.gov). The mean yearly salary for medical and health services managers working in nursing home facilities was $106,070 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
All 50 states require that nursing home administrators obtain licensure. Graduates of an online master's degree program in health or healthcare administration qualify to take the licensing examination, which is offered by the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards. In most cases, continuing education requirements may need to be satisfied to be eligible for license renewal.
Aspiring nursing home administrators can pursue online master's degrees in several healthcare fields, such as health administration or healthcare management. These typically cover management and financial topics to fully prepare students for this occupation.