What Does a Nursing Home Administrator Do?

Nursing Home AdministratorGraduates with a degree in healthcare management may wonder what a nursing home administrator does? The answer depends upon the size of the facility where they work. In large corporate nursing home chains, the administrator may supervise a sizable staff, but in small homes the administrator may do many things on their own.

What Are the Main Responsibilities of a Nursing Home Administrator?

All nursing home administrators should be experts in two areas: business and health care. Administrators of large nursing homes often supervise large staffs, but ultimately the responsibilities of the departments fall upon the administrator’s shoulders. They supervises the food service director, the director of maintenance, the head of the activity and/or social services department and the financial department. They are responsible for staff training, though this usually is done through the department heads. Nursing home administrators have to keep abreast of the newest regulations and laws pertaining to healthcare and long-term-care facilities. He or she addresses infractions by developing policies and seeing that they are implemented. The administrator is also in charge of public relations.

In smaller nursing homes the administrator acts as the human resources department person as well. The administrator is also the last word on keeping the facility running smoothly within the budget. The administrator is responsible to people too. He or she interacts with the residents, their families and their physicians to make sure that good care is being given. If the nursing home is a small, private one, the administrator may report to the owner directly, if he is not the owner. In larger private homes there is usually a vice president who supervises the administrator. County homes usually are overseen by a board of commissioners and non-profits have boards of directors to whom the administrator must report.

Related Resource: Patient Advocates

What is a Typical day for a Nursing Home Administrator?

The administrator may arrive at work at 9 am. to a facility that is well into its day. There may be an inter-disciplinary patient care meeting planned with physicians and therapists and the patient’s family. Before that, though, the administrator will field several phone calls and settle a staff dispute. After the meeting, he or she will respond to emails and handle some other correspondence. The nursing home administrator may have to attend a training meeting with other administrators from the city or state. Arriving back at his facility he may find a family member of a resident who is dissatisfied with her care, and several phone calls to return. With luck, the administrator will end his day at 5:00.

Nursing home administrators are usually healthcare managers or healthcare administrators who are licensed by the state. Each administrator must pass certain exams before obtaining licensing to be a nursing home administrator. The National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards has more information about the exams and practice tests. The salary of a nursing home administrator averages $88,580 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The duties vary according to the size and type of facility that employs the administrator, but even if their primary responsibility is supervision, they must be knowledgeable.  It is safe to say that an nursing home administrator has a lot of duties throughout the course of day of the job.