How to Become a

Nursing Home Administrator

The complete career guide to be a Nursing Home Administrator: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $106,070
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 16.9%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Growing Industry
    Career Attribute

A nursing home administrator is in charge of all operations at a facility, which includes overseeing staff. This role needs particular expertise in both health care practices and business management.


What is a Nursing Home Administrator?

Duties

The numerous duties performed by a nursing home administrator are as follows:

  • Create and implement central policies and processes in accordance with the professional standards of practice.
  • Delegate important tasks like administrative work to staff personnel while also consulting with department directors on the smooth operation of departments.
  • Take charge of recruitment of staff procedures such as interviewing, hiring and counseling employees.
  • Develop and maintain an operating budget per year, assess monthly financial records and make updates as required to optimise quality healthcare provided.
  • Take part in the state and federal surveys of the nursing home and identify any deficiencies that might arise.

Day In The Life

A nursing home administrator’s day will usually involve meeting and chatting with other staff, welcoming new patients to the facility and tracking all admissions and budget records. You may also give a tour to prospective clients and their family, or head to specialty stores to purchase required equipment and update inventories.

Spending time understanding advancements in laws and policies relating to medical care is very important, especially new state and federal requirements. Working towards bettering the care received by patients is your main function in this role. Since the job can be stressful, you must have a calm demeanor and be able to manage challenges that emerge at the workplace.

While there are many types of employees working at a nursing home, a nursing home administrator is very important to keep the facility functioning effectively and safely. Depending on the type of workplace, you might find yourself working around the clock with patients requiring special care. Alternatively, you may be a part of assisted living communities where there is less hands-on work with more frequent strategy level responsibilities.

Work Schedule

Nursing home administrators typically have to work full-time with regular working schedule of 40 – 50 hours per week. The workday usually extends from 8 am to 5 pm for 5 days per week. However, as an administrator of a medical facility, you may have to work longer hours which may include working during evenings or weekends because nursing homes have to be open at all times which will require excellent skills in time and stress management. You may also be required to be on call all the time to be called back to your office in case of emergencies. This makes the job somehow stressful and demanding to a certain degree in many days.

Growth Of The Job

There are currently around 15,600 nursing homes in the United States hosting around 1.4 million patients. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for nursing home administrators is expected to increase by 18% by 2028 which is much faster than the average for other occupations. As the population grows older, the demand for healthcare services provided in these institutions is expected to increase. This increased demand requires proper managers who can handle various administrative functions to manage the increase in the demand for healthcare services. In addition, there is increasing demand for managers with knowledge of health information technology (IT) and informatics systems. Therefore, to improve your opportunities in this career, you may need these skills as well as having a Master of Health Administration (MHA) or a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in healthcare management.

Typical Employers

Nursing Home administrators work mainly in the management of care facilities whether state, local or private. Famous nursing home chains in the US include Genesis Healthcare Corp., HCR ManorCare, Life Care Centers of America Inc. and Sava Senior Care LLC. They can also work for various nursing and residential care facilities as well as different outpatient care centers which may vary in the size, level of care, managerial structure, and focus. Each institution will have different requirements which you may have to consider before applying.


How To Become a Nursing Home Administrator

To jumpstart your career as a nursing home administrator, you must have a four-year bachelor’s degree and be able to pass a state licensing examination as per state requirements. Some employers may insist on a master’s degree for advanced roles. While the qualifications sought may vary depending on the location and place of employment, a four-year bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject is necessary, e.g. in public administration, long-term care administration or health services administration. Coursework during your degree program should have covered aging and long-term care, gerontology, health behaviors, nursing home administrative procedures, etc.

Since this profession intersects with health care and business, a nursing home administrator must have skills from both areas. Key traits that will be required to achieve success includes a sensitivity towards others, especially elderly or handicapped individuals. You should also demonstrate leadership skills and be able to analyse data to draw insights that will support effective operation of the facility. In addition, having advanced skills in presenting can help you connect with networks such as community groups, media and publishing houses as well as senior management at the nursing home. You will excel in this career path if you can process conflicting information and communicate clearly with all types of staff.


Nursing Home Administrator Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range

$72,510

Average

$106,070

High Range

$165,380

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$35/hr

Average

$51/hr

High Range

$80/hr

How do Nursing Home Administrator salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Nursing Home Administrator's can make an average annual salary of $106,070, or $51 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $72,510 or $35 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #53 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally


Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Nursing Home Administrator. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.


Highest Education Among Nursing Home Administrators

  • 8%   Doctorate
  • 23.8%   Masters
  • 32%   Bachelors
  • 12.2%   Associates
  • 15.3%   College
  • 7.8%   High School
  • 0.9%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

333,000

2024 Est. Jobs

389,300

Job Growth Rate

16.9%

Est. New Jobs

56,300

How does Nursing Home Administrator job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 56,300 jobs for a total of 389,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 16.9% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #85 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally


What Companies Employ The Most Nursing Home Administrators

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
General medical and surgical hospitals; private 98,600 1,600 2%
Offices of physicians 32,800 7,400 7%
Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) 19,900 1,900 2%

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