How Can I Obtain a Health Administration License?
Health administrators work in nursing homes or at other facilities that provide medical care for the injured, sick or elderly. Some states require administrators to have a license to work in these facilities. Requirements vary by state. Keep reading to learn more about health administration and licensure requirements. Schools offering Health Care Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Health Administrator Job Description
Health administrators manage nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Your responsibilities as a health administrator include handling the financial aspects of the operation, such as managing budgets and program costs. You also hire and train staff, ensure your facility is running efficiently and communicate with your facility's board. You need to keep current on medical technology, equipment and insurance changes that pertain to your facility and its clients.
Designing and promoting health programs at your facility may be an essential part of the job. You might also work with members of the community to coordinate involvement in programs and activities.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that a master's degree in a health-related field is standard for most jobs in health administration (www.bls.gov). Master's programs in health systems management and health administration focus on courses in management, finances, health care and epidemiology.
Although only some states require licensure for long-term care administrators who work in assisted-living facilities, all states require a license to work as a nursing home administrator. To become licensed, you must meet state qualifications and then take the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) nursing home administrator exam (www.nabweb.org). You might also be required to pass a state exam.
Each state has its own qualifications for licensure. For example, New York requires you to be at least 21, have a bachelor's degree and be of sound mind and body. Your bachelor's degree should be from an accredited school, and you are required to have credits in healthcare, gerontology and personnel management. You also need to have one of the following: completion of one year in an administrator-in-training program, or two years in field experience or work experience in another state's nursing facility. You are also required to take a course in administration.
In Oregon, you must complete an administrator-in-training program and pass both state and NAB exams to become a nursing home administrator. You need a bachelor's degree from an accredited school. You also have to pass a background check, pay the required fees, be of good character and be of sound mind and body.
Licensing Exam Information
Licensing exams cover topics in resident care, human resources, finance, environment and management. Your state will assess your application, and once you are approved to take the exam(s), you typically have 60 days to schedule it. Once you have your license, you will need to check your state's requirements for maintaining your license. For example, you may have to provide documentation of continuing education.
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