Those looking to grow into a rewarding new career in the field of health care may consider becoming a nursing home administrator. Nursing home administrators are responsible for supervising the clinical and administrative affairs of nursing homes and related facilities. Typical duties also include overseeing staff and personnel, financial matters, medical care, medical supplies, facilities and other tasks required to run a nursing home facility. After completing a master’s degree in health care administration, you would need to gain state licensure in order to become a nursing home administrator.
Qualification and Exams
As one of the first requirements in this field, you must qualify to take the state and national Nursing Home Administrator Examinations. To find out a specific state’s requirements, visit www.nabweb.org.
The Nursing Home Administration Examination is intended to assess the knowledge and understanding of information and tasks, essential for entry-level licensure as a nursing home administrator. As a result, you must be well-versed in all nursing home administration areas.
The state examination is different in every state and practice materials for each state are available. For the national examination, there are sample questions for each section of the test in the NAB Study Guide, which can be ordered online. Additionally, there are many online resources such as publications and forums to obtain study information.
Taking the Exam
As the State Nursing Home Administrator Examination varies from state to state, the number of questions pertaining to specific areas of study is also different. On the national level, the questions for the examination come from current health care administrators across the country. Practicing administrators create exam questions and submit them to the National Associate of Boards, where they are reviewed by a number of people. If questions pass the review stage, they are placed in a question bank to be used on future examinations. The national exam is made up of 150 questions and covers the following five topics:
- Resident Centered Care and Quality of Life (38%)
- Human Resources (13%)
- Finance (13%)
- Environment (15%)
- Leadership & Management (21%)
If you fail at your first attempt at either examination, you are able to retake the tests. However, once a student fails either examination three times, additional training is required before they are able to take the exam again.
In addition to meeting certain qualifications and passing both the state and national exams, you must also complete a continuing education program. Continuing education courses provide a number of benefits. Not only do these courses help professionals stay sharp in their skills, but also ensure they are up-to-speed with the latest advancements in their field. To find requirements for your state, check with the Department of Public Health.
While obtaining an online master’s degree in health care administration is a step in the right direction, there is more to the career than the completion of a degree program. Business and health care experience, a passing grade on both the state and national examination, and completion of the state’s continuing education requirements are also necessary to pursue a career in health care administration and succeed.
As the nursing home administration industry continues to grow and evolve, there will be even opportunities for skilled individuals who are looking for a bright, rewarding career in this exciting industry. Pursue a master’s in health care administration and grow your career today.