Nursing Home Administrator Education Requirements and Career Info

A licensed nursing home administrator (LNHA) requires significant formal education. Learn about the degree programs, job duties, salary and licensure requirements to see if this is the right career for you. View article »

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Video Transcript

Essential Information

Degree Level Bachelor's degree; master's common
Degree Field(s) Long-term care administration, health services administration, public health or business administration or other relevant fields
Licensure/Certification Licensure required in all states
Experience Internship required for licensure
Key Skills Business, organizational, managerial, communications, and leadership skills; knowledge of health and safety codes
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 20% growth (for medical and health service managers)*
Mean Annual Salary (2018) $113,730 (for medical and health service managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Nursing home administrators must have a bachelor's degree, and most hold master's degrees in health administration or other relevant fields. Nursing home administrators are involved in the day-to-day aspects of running a long-term care facility, including admitting patients, managing the building, directing staff, budgeting, accounting, and financial planning. Their degree programs include business courses as well as instruction on healthcare regulations and ethics.

Nursing home administrators in the U.S. are required to complete a state-approved training program and an internship. They must pass a licensing exam and complete continuing education programs for renewal.

How to Become a Nursing Home Administrator

The education required for a nursing home administrator includes a minimum of a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration. However, most nursing home administrators have master's degrees in long-term care administration, health services administration, public health, or business administration. Professional degrees in healthcare management are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). The organization's website lists qualifying programs by state.

A typical program may result in a Master of Science in Health Administration degree. Courses may focus on business skills, such as leadership, marketing, operations management, organizational behavior, and financial affairs as they relate to healthcare. Students also learn about health law, healthcare information systems, and medical statistics.

Certification for nursing home administrators is also required, including the completion of an accredited, state-approved training program and internship. Aspiring administrators must also pass a state licensing exam. For nursing home administrator license renewal, continuing professional education is required.

Nursing Home Administrator Salary and Career Info

Because nursing homes are strictly regulated by state and federal agencies, nursing home administrators must ensure that their facilities comply with health and safety codes. They prepare official reports and attend community and institutional meetings. They also set goals, coordinate programs, and take responsibility for their facilities' success.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall opportunities for medical and health services managers are expected to grow by 20% between 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Also reported by the BLS, the annual mean salary for medical and health service managers was $113,730, as of May 2018.

A nursing home administrator must have a bachelor's degree and internship experience, and the job entails directing staff, admitting patients, and complying with health and safety codes.

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