Online MHA Career Spotlight: Nursing Home Administrator
Nursing home administrators are senior-level health services managers in charge of everyday operations such as financial planning and personnel management for residential elderly care facilities. They make sure residents receive the best possible care while overseeing the staff, satisfying state and federal regulations, and managing their facility’s budget. Nursing home administrators also manage patient admissions and act as patient advocates.
For those who wish to be part of protecting the dignity and health of the elderly residents living in retirement communities, senior homes, and assisted-living facilities, Maryville University’s Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree program is an excellent option. The online MHA program can provide students with the organizational, decision-making, and management skills they need to be successful as nursing home administrators.
Qualifications For Nursing Home Administrators
Nursing home administrators should have previous health management experience, as well as a degree in public health, public administration, business administration, or healthcare administration.
“Master’s degrees are common and preferred by employers,” the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports about medical and health services managers (including nursing home administrators). “Graduate programs often last between two and three years and may include up to one year of supervised administrative experience.”
Aside from meeting the academic requirements, potential nursing home administrators may require an array of practical expertise, qualities, and knowledge to succeed. Some of the most crucial skills, according to the BLS, include:
• Analytical skills: Processing and analyzing information from their staff is extremely important for nursing home administrators. They can use what they learn to improve and maintain operations within their facility.
• Communication skills: Nursing home administrators should familiarize their staff with new laws and regulations, as well as effectively communicate procedures and policies to other health professionals.
• Attention to detail: Close attention to detail is paramount for nursing home administrators; they are often required to maintain and organize billing and scheduling information for their facilities.
• Interpersonal skills: Nursing home administrators frequently discuss patient information and staffing issues with health insurance representatives and physicians, so they must be adept at maintaining professional relationships.
• Leadership skills: Finding creative solutions to administrative challenges such as staffing often falls to nursing home administrators. They hire, train, direct, and incentivize staff.
• Technical skills: Nursing home administrators should stay up-to-date on advances in data analytics and healthcare technology. They might, for example, begin using coding and categorization programs or electronic health record (EHR) systems when their facility starts to adopt new technologies.
• Business skills: Business skills are paramount for nursing home administrators because they are expected to implement functional budgets and operations as well as formulate long-term plans for their facility.
Duties And Responsibilities
Nursing home administrators have numerous daily responsibilities to ensure the proper planning, coordination, and supervision of their facility and residents. Here are some of their most common duties, according to the BLS:
• Work to maintain and improve quality and efficiency of care and services for nursing home residents.
• Establish facility goals and standards.
• Ensure their nursing home is up-to-date with all current federal, state, and local regulations.
• Hire, train, schedule, and oversee nursing home staff.
• Keep track of finances such as billing and resident fees. Financial responsibilities also include creating and monitoring facility budgets.
• Represent their nursing home on governing boards and at investor meetings to discuss budget reviews, operational policies, and capital expenditures.
• Maintain records of services rendered, such as rooms occupied and utilities provided.
• Keep an open line of communication with nursing home staff, attending physicians, and nurses.
• Supervise the upkeep and sanitation of their nursing home’s infrastructure. Even a small problem like loose floor tiles can be a major safety concern for elderly residents.
• Oversee order processing, inventory, and distribution of services and materials for their facility.
• Form and maintain relationships with patients and their families.
Salary Range And Work Hours
Payscale.com reports the average salary of a licensed nursing home administrator as of July 2017 is $83,421. The median salary (pay for the fiftieth percentile of earners) is slightly higher, at $83,495. Earners in the highest percentile can earn a base annual salary of up to $119,602. After factoring in potential bonuses, this figure tops out at $122,356 per year.
Approximately one-third of medical and health services managers – which includes medical practice administrators – worked more than forty hours per week in 2014. “Most medical and health services managers work full time,” the BLS said. “Work during evenings or weekends may be required in healthcare settings such as hospitals and nursing homes, which are open at all hours.”
Job Outlook And Growth
The future looks bright for aspiring nursing home administrators. The BLS projects a seventeen percent employment growth in medical and health services by 2024. Because the elderly are steadily becoming more active later in life, job opportunities for potential nursing home administrators are expected to increase. The demand for residential nursing home services should see a dramatic upturn as a growing number of parents and grandparents age into late adulthood.
“This increase in demand should create greater needs for physicians and other healthcare workers, medical procedures, and healthcare facilities,” reports the BLS. “Therefore, there will be a greater need for managers who organize and manage medical information and healthcare staff.”
About Maryville University’s Online MHA Degree Program
Maryville University’s MHA program allows prospective nursing home administrators to complete their coursework in an accessible online setting. Courses offered include healthcare operations, healthcare technology and informational systems, and healthcare financial management. For more information, visit Maryville University’s online MHA program website.