What a Nursing Home Administrator Does

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A nursing home administrator visits with a resident.

For someone interested in public health care and nursing, there are dozens of medical and health services careers to consider. However, an emerging professional with an interest in leadership and management may thrive in the role of nursing home administrator.

Find out more about this important role in health administration — and how Bradley University’s online Doctor of Nursing Practice and Leadership track can prepare you for this field.

A nursing home administrator speaks on the phone while reviewing files.What Is a Nursing Home Administrator Responsible For?

Nursing home administrators are skilled nursing facility leaders. They serve in a management role where they’re responsible for overseeing a range of operations. From nursing home admissions and resident care to food services and facility maintenance, nursing home administrators ensure that their residents are receiving the support and assistance they require.

Professionals in this role also manage the financial health of their long-term care facilities, and participate in other important administrative duties such as developing record keeping systems, billing processes and fee schedules. Nursing home administrators typically onboard and supervise staff, distribute work schedules, develop short- and long-term goals for the facility and liaise with other health care executives and stakeholders. In addition, a significant responsibility is competence in federal, state, and local standards, guidelines, and regulations that govern nursing home facilities. Ensuring safe, quality care to residents in accordance with established policies and professional standards of practice is also essential to the job function.

What Kinds of People Become Nursing Home Administrators?

People from all walks of life may find the nursing home administrator role to be a fulfilling and satisfying career. However, the nature of the job often attracts people with certain characteristics. According to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), there are a handful of interests and work values that align with a career in nursing home administration. Someone with the following qualities might enjoy this type of career:


People who like working and socializing with others may enjoy the day-to-day interactions of a nursing home administrator. Much of this role centers around building relationships, communicating with clients and colleagues and educating others. It also involves a level of collaboration and cooperation with other health care professionals.


Enterprising individuals who enjoy overseeing teams and projects will likely find satisfaction in this health care management career. A licensed nursing home administrator must be a strong leader who can make decisions and provide direction.


As with all health care careers, someone aspiring to work as a licensed nursing home administrator must have a high level of integrity and dependability. Additionally, professionals who prefer carrying out specific procedures and routines will thrive within the more stable and traditional health care administration environment.

How Much Does a Nursing Home Administrator Make?

A growing number of job openings and a high nursing home administrator salary make this field a promising career option.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and health services managers working in nursing and residential care facilities earned a median annual salary of $86,820 in May 2019. ZipRecruiter reported that the national average earnings for licensed nursing home administrators specifically was $84,147 in July 2020. Earners in the 75th percentile made over $109,000.

The field of medical and health services managers is projected to experience 18% growth between 2018 and 2028, according to the BLS. This means qualified professionals can expect to see an increase in the number of nursing home administrator jobs over the next several years.

What Qualifications Are Necessary for Becoming a Nursing Home Administrator?

The minimum qualifications for a nursing home administrator are a bachelor’s degree in a related field and the appropriate licensure. However, the BLS has noted that many employers also require a master’s degree and doctorate as well. An online Doctor of Nursing Practice with a Leadership track will provide master’s-prepared nursing professionals with the health care education and business expertise they’ll need to succeed in this role.

Additionally, job candidates typically have gained some work experience as registered nurses prior to reaching management roles like nursing home administrator. Similar credentials are also typically required for the role of assistant nursing home administrator or interim nursing home administrator (INHA).

How Does One Get a Nursing Home Administrator License?

Licensure requirements for nursing home administrators vary slightly from state to state. As a reference, the basic requirements for New York state include:

  • Holding at least a bachelor’s degree, including a certain number of credit hours in specific nursing and business administration subject areas
  • Completing an administrator in training (AIT) program or equivalent work experience in the field
  • Taking a state-approved course in nursing home administration
  • Passing the nationally recognized Nursing Home Administrator Licensing Examination

The exam is administered by the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB). NAB also offers continuing education programs, which professionals can participate in to keep their nursing home administrator license active.

Prepare for a Career in Nursing Home Administration at Bradley University

The DNP program at Bradley University takes students through a robust nursing leadership curriculum. In addition to DNP practice seminars and clinical experiences, students develop key competencies throughout the following courses:

  • Advanced Health Informatics
  • Data Management
  • Ethics in Advanced Practice Nursing
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Health Care Economics and Finance
  • Health Care Policy
  • Leadership in Advanced Practice Nursing
  • Management in Health Care Organizations
  • Statistical Procedures
  • Theoretical Foundations of Nursing

Want more information about how to become a nursing home administrator with an online DNP from Bradley University? Visit the program page to learn more or connect with an enrollment advisor today.

Recommended Readings:

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

Research to Drive New Breakthroughs in Patient Care

What Ethical Issues Can Arise with End-of-Life Care?


BLS — Medical and Health Services Managers

New York State Department of Health — Qualifications: Nursing Home Administrator Licensure Program

O*NET — Summary Report for Medical and Health Services Managers

ZipRecruiter — What Is The Average Nursing Home Administrator Salary?