As the number of people over the age of 65 increases, career opportunities in nursing home administration are also on the rise. Nursing homes, assisted living, adult day care and home health care all need good administrators or directors. These jobs offer a rewarding and well-paying career if you have the right qualities — a desire to serve older adults with empathy and sensitivity to their needs.
You also need relevant training. Jobs managing elder care facilities usually requires at least a bachelor’s degree. One way to get started is to earn a bachelor's degree online in long term care administration. The courses teach important information on the following topics:
- The basics of how the American healthcare system works.
- How to handle finances, such as budgets and service rates.
- How to deal with other business operations, such as hiring and managing employees and managing a facility.
- Evidence-based care and best practices for team-centered care of the elderly.
- Skills for communicating with the elderly, their families and members of the medical community.
Nursing Home Administration
Nursing home administrators inhabit the space where healthcare and business intersect and need skills in both. You also need leadership and interpersonal skills. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses often become administrators. However, other clinical or administrative jobs in a hospital or other healthcare facility can also lead to a career in nursing home administration.
To work as a nursing home administrator, you need a state license. Each state has its own requirements for education and experience. Passing the Nursing Home Administrator (NHA) licensing exam is one common requirement.
The National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) oversees the exam. It is based on a job analysis and includes 150 questions in the following five areas:
- Resident-centered care and quality of life (38 percent of the questions).
- Human resources (13 percent).
- Finance (13 percent).
- Environment (15 percent).
- Leadership and management (21 percent).
A bachelor’s degree in long term care administration can help prepare you to pass the exam.
Getting a Bachelor’s Degree Online
Earning a bachelor’s degree in long term care administration through an online program is a flexible and convenient way to obtain the credential. You can continue to work as you study for your new career. In selecting an online degree program, you can choose from more courses of study because you do not have to move to a new location to take classes.
Another advantage to online classes is that you can review lectures and other class materials as often as you need. You can study at your own pace. You can study at your peak learning times without a preset class schedule.
You do need certain qualities to successfully pursue a bachelor’s degree online. You need the ability to learn independently. You must be able to organize your time, and you must have at least basic computer skills.
Getting a bachelor’s degree in elder care administration gives you knowledge of finance, policy, management, communication and marketing. The degree prepares you to meet the needs of the elderly in nursing home administration or management of other elder care facilities. You can develop a rewarding career while contributing to the care of the older generation.
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