Keeping a nursing home running requires skilled leaders at the helm. Whether it’s long-term planning or handling day-to-day details, an excellent nursing home administrator can make a big difference for your company, your clients, and your employees.


Can anyone be a Nursing Home Administrator?

The short answer is no.  A career in nursing home administration requires a specific educational background (like a bachelor’s degree) in addition to completing an Administrator In Training program (A.I.T.) which varies by state, but generally is a 1,000 hour curriculum which is overseen by a state-approved Preceptor.  After the AIT is completed then the individual must successfully pass the National Nursing Home Administrator Board exam (NAB) to be eligible to take the state exam.  When all of this is completed, then they can oversee the overall day-to-day operations of a nursing home or similar location. The administrator is the mastermind who manages all the moving parts of a complex care operation to ensure that residents receive the care they need, and employees have a safe, supportive, and positive environment in which to work.

Nursing home administrators handle the coordination of the core tasks of a nursing home, as well as the administrative, behind-the-scenes aspects. Different organizations may require different specifics, but in general, a nursing home administrator will likely be responsible for some or all of the following duties:

  • Ensuring compliance with state and federal regulatory guidelines
  • Overseeing multiple departments and assigning tasks
  • Creating a comprehensive marketing plan to garner referrals to maintain census
  • Creating and overseeing budgets for labor and supplies
  • Overseeing all equipment purchases as well as procuring bids for capital expenditures for large projects or depreciable items
  • Assisting with recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and training other staff members

These duties are designed to ensure that the facility runs as smoothly as possible and maintains a positive reputation as innovators for quality of care in the marketplace. Some nursing home administrators, especially those with medical backgrounds, may play a larger role in developing and updating the clinical oversight with the Director of Nursing.


Hiring Nursing Home Administrators

With an aging population worldwide, and a number of tenured administrators choosing to leave the profession, the need for administrators, as well as other senior care professionals, will continue to be a challenge.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the category of “medical and health services managers” is projected to grow approximately 28% between now and 2031, making it a field that is growing “much faster than average” compared to other industries.

As a pivotal member of your organization’s operational oversight, hiring the right nursing home administrator is critical for ensuring the smooth and safe operations of any location. These professionals need extensive administrative experience, as well as a comprehensive understanding of the unique challenges and needs of a nursing home or similar center. They will need the skills to respond to changing needs, keep up with regulatory guidelines, and serve as a leader in ensuring the center remains safe, healthy, and supportive for clients and employees alike. Qualified professionals also require formal licensure and continued maintenance of their licenses.

Finding the right person who can coordinate all these tasks and who is excited about the opportunity at your organization is no easy task, and hiring the wrong person can cost an operator tens of thousands of dollars.  A search partner like Aspen Associates can help to connect organizations with qualified nursing home administrators. Our experienced team can streamline the search process, bringing you the best-match candidates for your specific role.

We’ll always go the extra mile to ensure a quality outcome – and that’s exactly what your new nursing home administrator will do, too.

By Tom Zeleny, NHA