Certified Nursing Home Administrator Career and Certification

Nursing home administrators are responsible for overseeing nursing homes and making sure the residents are safe, happy and well cared for. Learn about the education and experience requirements to become a certified nursing home administrator. Schools offering Finance and Health Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

As a nursing home administrator, you will oversee the day-to-day operations of a nursing facility, including managing staff, meals, activities and medical care. In some cases, you may be in charge of marketing the facility. Certification presents an industry standard that you have the knowledge and experience in business operations and patient care necessary to provide a safe, comfortable and smooth-running facility.

Program Options Graduate Certificate in Aging Studies, Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Administration, Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration, Master of Health Administration
Career Outlook (2016-2026)* 20% increase in jobs for medical and health services managers, much faster than average
Licensing/Certification All states require nursing home administrators to be licensed; voluntary certification available

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Kind of Education Do I Need?

The first step toward certification is a bachelor's degree, which is the most common degree requirement for state licensure. A bachelor's degree in health care administration or long-term care administration may include courses such as health care law, accounting, patient care, ethics and gerontology.

What Does a Career as a Certified Nursing Home Administrator Look Like?

As a certified nursing home administrator, you might manage an entire facility, a department or a medical practice. These administrators are tasked with keeping up to date with changes in applicable technology, laws and regulations. Job duties include:

  • Scheduling
  • Preparing budgets
  • Keeping record of facility services
  • Creating goals and objectives for the department or organization
  • Communicating with department heads and other supervisors
  • Improving organizational efficiency

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for medical and health service managers is set to grow by 20% in the the decade between 2016 and 2026. The median income for these managers was $98,350 in May 2017.

What Are the Requirements for Certification?

The American College of Health Care Administrators offers the Certified Nursing Home Administrator designation. To qualify for certification, you will need a bachelor's degree, two years of work experience as a licensed nursing home administrator and 40 hours of continuing education credits. You will also have to take an exam. The exam will cover resident care, human resources, leadership, finance and facilities maintenance. You will have to re-certify every five years by re-taking the exam, submitting a portfolio or completing an executive-level course.

How Do I Get Licensed?

Review the requirements of your state-licensing board to find out what experience you need to get a license. Most states will require that you complete a practicum or internship. You may have to take state-mandated courses in nursing home management. Those courses may be part of your degree program, or they may constitute a separate program, such as an administrator in training (AIT) program. After you complete all the requirements mandated by your state, you can take the Nursing Home Administrator (NHA) examination, which is administered by the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »