What Is a Nursing Home Administrator License?

If you want to work as an administrator at a nursing home facility, you'll need to obtain state licensure in the field. Continue reading to learn about common requirements, including education and the national exam. Schools offering Finance and Health Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Nursing Home Administrator License Overview

While all states require licensing for nursing home administrators, each sets its own mandates. Though specific requirements vary, all states require you to hold a bachelor's degree, meet continuing education requirements and pass a licensing exam.

Important Facts About Nursing Home Administrators

Median Salary (2016) $81,760*
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 17%** (for medical and health service managers)
Key Skills Budget management, regulatory compliance, team leadership, and operations management
Similar Occupations Director of operations, retail store manager, operations supervisor, executive director, and hotel general manager

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Licensing Requirements

Some states set a minimum age requirement to earn a nursing home administrator license. For example, in New York, you must be at least 21 years old, according to the New York Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators (www.health.ny.gov). You also might have to consent to a criminal background check.

Typically, you'll need a bachelor's degree in a program that includes training in topics such as long-term care, management and gerontology. This degree needs to be from a state-approved, accredited institution. Most likely, you'll also be expected to complete a state-approved training program or have comparable experience in the field. In some states, an internship at a nursing home qualifies in place of completing a training program. Additionally, work experience in an administrative position at a care facility might be sufficient.

National Licensing Examination

In every state, you'll be required to complete the Nursing Home Administrator Licensing Examination. This exam is administered by the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB). The exam covers the daily tasks of an administrator and tests your competency in this field.

You'll be tested on your knowledge in the general care of residents, including admissions procedures, services planning, policy development and quality of care. You'll also have to understand how to create an effective communication system for staff members as well as recruit staff and develop benefits programs.

The test also covers financial management, budget creation and contract management. You'll be tested on the upkeep, design and planning of the nursing home environment. You'll be expected to be knowledgeable about legal regulations, government programs and basic leadership concepts.

Certification

While not mandatory, many nursing home administrators choose to obtain professional certification in addition to their license. The American College of Health Care Administrators offers a Certified Nursing Home Administrator credential. This certification requires experience and meeting continuing education requirements.

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