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Nursing Home Administrator Training Programs Overview

Nursing home administrators are responsible for running effective and efficient nursing homes that comply with all state and federal requirements and health and safety codes. They are responsible for patient admissions, facility operations, personnel management, accounting, budget planning and more.

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Nursing Home Administrator Training Requirements and Recommendations

A bachelor's degree in a related field is required, but most nursing home administrators have earned a master's degree in long-term care administration, public health, business administration or health services administration. Work requirements include an internship or several years of experience.

Formal Education

The most common training program for nursing home administrators is a master's degree in health care administration, which may be completed via distance-learning or traditional classroom options.

Master of Science in Health Care Administration

Most graduate programs in health care administration require approximately 30-40 credit hours, and they are usually tailored to current health care workers. Topics of focus include health care finance, legal issues in health care, gerontology and personnel management. Graduates are prepared to pursue state licensure, a requirement to practice in the field.

Job Experience

To become a nursing home administrator three or more years of experience as a director of nursing services or a board-approved internship is generally required. Internship opportunities are generally incorporated into graduate training programs and are required for degree completion. Internships fulfill licensing requirements and build students' experience with organizational operations and decision-making processes.

Licenses and Certifications

Each state requires nursing home administrators to be licensed, which requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree supplemented by additional hours of coursework in long-term care, gerontology and personnel management. Completion of an internship and a comprehensive examination is also required. Additionally, to maintain current status, a varying number of continuing education hours must be completed each year.

Workshops and Seminars

Due to the constantly changing legal aspects and standards of care in the health care field, regular workshops, annual meetings and seminars are available to nursing home administrators. Most state nursing home administrator licensing boards sponsor regular update meetings. Webinars and downloaded materials are also available to alert administrators about legal changes and other updates.

Additional Professional Development

Professional organizations, such as the America Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM), offer educational programs, publications and networking opportunities to nursing home administrator professionals. Jobs are posted on the AAHAM website for nursing home administrators, and a mailing list application is available to facilitate peer communications. Additionally, the organization provides study guides for certification examinations.

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