Nursing Home Administrator Job Description
Nursing home administrators work in long-term care facilities, assisted-living facilities, and retirement homes to oversee residents’ care, lead staff, and improve operations. This position requires someone who has prior experience in healthcare, as well as clinical and business skills gained through a related college degree program. Since nursing homes do not close, administrators may work more irregular and longer hours than other types of medical and health services managers.
Nursing Home Administrator Duties and Responsibilities
No two nursing home administrators are exactly alike, as specific skills vary from employer to employer. However, after analyzing online job postings, we identified several core duties and responsibilities common to the job.
Coordinate Nursing Care
Working alongside residents’ families and healthcare workers, nursing home administrators plan how to care for residents’ needs and coordinate with nursing staff to provide treatment. They also regularly monitor residents to ensure compliance and make any necessary changes to improve care.
Whether they hire new nurses, offer training, or create schedules, nursing home administrators are responsible for leading all staff and ensuring they follow policies to offer safe care. They also help team members resolve conflicts and assist with professional development.
Handle Business Tasks
Nursing home administrators perform key business tasks such as creating a budget, developing policies, finding vendors for medical supplies, and marketing the facility. They also keep records about the facility’s operations.
Ensure Regulatory Compliance
Numerous state and federal standards dictate how nursing care facilities should operate, including rules on health insurance, cleanliness, and resident safety. Nursing home administrators monitor for compliance and make changes to policies and procedures when necessary.
Looking for ways to improve care for residents, save money, and operate more efficiently is a key part of nursing home administration. To make the facility operate more effectively, these professionals not only meet with staff but also coordinate with outside organizations such as insurance companies and care administrators.
Nursing Home Administrator Skills and Qualifications
As strong leaders who understand how business and healthcare work, nursing home administrators usually need a bachelor’s degree related to healthcare management or business and up to five years of industry experience. Employers also look for these skills when seeking nursing home administrators:
- Healthcare technology – nursing home administrators know how to use electronic medical records management and coding software to access and update patient information
- Business management – since they hold responsibility for the facility’s finances, legal compliance, and marketing, nursing home administrators have a strong background in business management
- Leadership skills – effective nursing home administrators motivate the team and lead members to reach goals and provide efficient and high-quality care
- Interpersonal skills – nursing home administrators interact with various members of staff, handle conflicts that arise, and cooperate with physicians to provide good care
- Organizational skills – creating schedules, managing the team, making decisions about operations, and setting goals all require an organized and focused nursing home administrator.
Tools of the Trade
Nursing home administrators frequently use these tools:
- Medical records software (Epic, MEDITECH, Care360)
- Medical coding software (Claricode, CodeSearch Pro, EpiCoder)
- Productivity software (Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel)
Nursing Home Administrator Education and Training
Nursing home administrators can find work with a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, business management, or a similar field, although some employers prefer a master’s degree in healthcare administration or management. These programs combine business and healthcare courses to cover topics such as healthcare delivery systems, finance, quality management, human resources, healthcare policy, and reimbursement. Nursing home administrators also need a state license, which usually requires passing an exam and taking continuing education courses to maintain licensure. The American College of Health Care Administrators offers the optional Certified Nursing Home Administrator certification that nursing home administrators can pursue.
Nursing Home Administrator Salary and Outlook
The median yearly salary for nursing home administrators, grouped by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as health and medical services managers, is around $98,000. Nursing home administrators in the 10th percentile make about $58,000, and the highest earners make over $176,000. Nursing facilities often offer administrators generous benefits packages. These can include health, life, dental, and vision insurance, employee assistance programs, retirement savings plans, paid time off, and continuing education.
Nursing home administrator employment is expected to increase 20 percent through 2026, which is a rate the BLS lists as much faster than average. The aging population needing nursing home care is a key factor driving growth, and the retirement of current administrators will leave positions to fill. The outlook is best for graduates of master’s degree programs with healthcare IT systems expertise.
Are you ready to begin your career as a nursing home administrator? We have gathered these career resources to get you started.
National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards – with membership open to healthcare managers, educators, and professional associations, the NAB provides access to resources on improving long-term care, discounts to meetings and industry publications, and the opportunity to join committees. It also offers guidance on continuing education and certification.
Take Charge of Your Healthcare Management Career: 50 Lessons That Drive Success – designed to prepare health care managers for a successful career, Kenneth R. White’s guide offers advice on a healthcare manager’s first three months at work with tips on building strong teams, pursuing professional development, and handling the stresses of the job.
American College of Health Care Administrators – nursing home administrators can join the ACHCA to meet members in their states and online, participate in development activities, and get career resources to find jobs around the country. This organization also offers certification for nursing home administrators and resources to prepare.
Nursing Home Administration – this book offers detailed information and case studies that prepare nursing home administrators to gain certification and work as skilled leaders. It provides insights on topics such as resolving conflicts, managing a team, managing finances, and following regulations and ethical practices.
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