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.
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. Master's programs usually entail an internship, which fulfills certain work requirements of an internship or several years of experience.
Bachelor's Degree in Nursing Home Administrator Training
Each state requires nursing home administrators to be licensed, which requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree supplemented by additional hours of coursework. Completion of an internship and a comprehensive examination is also required. Some topics supplemented by the bachelor's degree are as follows:
- Long-term care
- Personnel management
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. Graduates are prepared to pursue state licensure, a requirement to practice in the field. In addition to topics similar to that of certifications and bachelor's degree programs, coursework in a master's of science in health care administration program include:
- Health care finance
- Legal issues in health care
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.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), as of May 2015, medical and health service managers made an annual average salary of $106,070, with a projected job growth of 17%, from 2014-2024.
Continuing Education Information
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.
Becoming a nursing home administrator requires a bachelor's degree in a related field as well as a master's degree in long-term care administration. The undergraduate degree takes four years to complete, while the master's program takes 30-40 credit hours, and will prepare the students with skills in health care finance and long-term care.