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Nursing Home Administrator CareersWhat is a Nursing Home Administrator?

A Nursing Home Administrator ensures smooth operation of the daily aspects of managing a long-term care facility. Nursing Home Administrators oversee admission of patients, building management, staff direction, accounting, budgeting and financial planning for their facility. They are obligated to satisfy local and federal regulations to keep their facility compliant. They safeguard residents and their families as well as providers and facility staff. Working in a fast-paced environment, Nursing Home Administrators think on their feet, developing solid solutions to immediate problems as they arise. As nursing homes evolve to tackle more health conditions, Nursing Home Administrators must rise to meet new challenges of leadership, including marketing and communication.

What is a Nursing Home Administrator Responsible For?

Nursing Home Administrators supervise clinical and administrative affairs of nursing homes and similar facilities. They oversee staff and personnel, financial matters, medical care and medical supplies, and general facility management. Nursing Home Administrators work closely with the facility’s Medical Director and Nursing Staff to ensure the 24-hour care of residents who are unable to care for themselves. They act as the nursing home’s representative during all interactions with residents, family, government agencies and the community in general.

Nursing Home Administrators can expect to oversee any or all of the following tasks:

  • Hiring and training nursing home staff members, including clinical and administrative positions
  • Managing employee performance reviews
  • Conducting facility tours with prospective residents and their families to educate them about the services provided at the nursing home
  • Communicating with staff, residents and prospective residents
  • Working with staff to oversee the creation of a plan of care for each resident
  • Instituting and managing policies and procedures to protect residents and employees and to confirm compliance with all governmental regulations
  • Analyzing, planning and establishing facility budgets and allocating specific funds to departments as needed
  • Overseeing billing processes, ensuring proper payment of services rendered
  • Determining individual resident care
  • Arranging transportation for residents when it becomes necessary to seek additional care outside the nursing home
  • Upgrading equipment and technology in the facility to address the changing needs of residents and comply with government regulations
  • Presenting budgets, financial determinations, plans of care and other facility specifics to the nursing home’s board of directors and other executive team members
  • Brainstorming solutions to financial and practical problems as they arise
  • Providing regular safety training for all staff
  • Helping residents and their families cope with specific conditions and individual progress
  • Coordinating of specialty health care services such as physical therapy and provider specialists
  • Scheduling physical and social activities for residents, based on their abilities
  • Working with government agencies such as Medicare and Medicaid and helping clients apply for available benefits

Nursing Home Administrators need to have practical knowledge and expertise in a variety of areas to succeed in their position. A few of the most crucial skills required include:

  • Communication Skills. Nursing Home Administrators communicate effectively with residents, family, health professionals and the communities at large and familiarize staff with laws and regulations and policies and procedures to keep residents and staff safe and satisfied.
  • Interpersonal Skills. Nursing Home Administrators frequently discuss resident care and facility policies with insurance representatives and health care professionals, so being skilled at building and maintaining professional relationships is essential.
  • Analytical Skills. Analyzing information from varied sources and processing the information to maintain operations is a critical skill to maintain smooth performance within their facilities.
  • Leadership Skills. Nursing Home Administrators hire, train and incentivize staff as well as maintaining beneficial relationships with nursing home residents and families.
  • Business Skills. Paramount for effective budgets and long-term operation of their facilities, Nursing Home Administrators implement effective plans to make certain the success of their facilities in the communities they serve.
  • Technical Skills. Staying up-to-date on advances in data analytics and healthcare technology is a necessary skill for Nursing Home Administrators to stay compliant with federal regulations and to prepare their facility for crucial changes in coding, billing and electronic health record management.

Where Does a Nursing Home Administrator Work?

Nursing Home Administrators work with staff and residents in long-term care facilities. Because they are responsible for managing budgets and financial information, staffing resources and payroll paperwork, resident transfers, and day-to-day operations, a Nursing Home Administrator can spend many hours per week sitting behind a desk. Many Nursing Home Administrators will pick up the slack in staff coverage when necessary, acting in the clinical environment or helping other managers with daily tasks until proper coverage is available.

Nursing Home Administrator CareersWhat Career Options are Available to a Nursing Home Administrator?

Nursing Home Administrators are the heart of the business of healthcare. Their skills in budgeting, communication, improving patient care and securing exceptional staff prepare them to lead facilities and programs designed to provide for the long-term care of patients.

Management professionals within the field of long-term care include:

Nursing Facility Administrators

Administrators in nursing facilities direct internal programs, comply with government regulations, manage daily activities for residents and verify that staff and other professionals provide timely and safe care to elderly patients.

Hospital Rehabilitation Managers

Hospital Rehabilitation Managers oversee the hospital’s rehabilitation center and professional staff and implement specific programs to assist patients enrolled in inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services.

Hospice Care Facilities

Overseeing the management of end-of-life services for residents with cancer, kidney disease, heart disease and other palliative services, the Hospice Administrator works closely with hospice staff, patients and their families, and other local social services and programs to provide comfort and compassion to residents.

Government Agencies

Government programs that address elderly care require experienced Nursing Home Administrators who can create, improve and implement programs that address the long-term care of the aging population.

What Degree is Required to Become a Nursing Home Administrator? What Do They Study?

Nursing Home Administrators should have a bachelor’s degree in public health, public administration, business administration or healthcare administration. Many Nursing Home Administrators have previous experience in healthcare management and often hold a nursing degree or other certification within the healthcare field.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that master’s degrees in healthcare administration are common and often preferred by employers. Most Nursing Home Administrators have master’s degrees in long-term care administration, health services administration, or public or business administration.

Nursing Home Administrators are required to participate in a training program and internship, both of which must be accredited and state approved. A state licensing exam is also mandatory, along with continuing professional development.

How Much Money Does a Nursing Home Administrator Earn?

The average annual salary for experienced Nursing Home Administrators is $95,000 and often includes a very generous benefits package. Entry-level positions may start as low as $56,000, but facility managers with many years of experience can earn up to $161,000 per year.

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